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  The Big Wild Goose Pagoda

The historical record shows that in the 3 rd year of the Reign of Yonghui (652AD), the accomplished monk Master Xuan Zang pleaded with emperor Gao Zong with a design of the pagoda for the permission to build a stone pagoda in front of Duanmen Gate of the temple to house the Buddhist scriptures, statues, and relics so as to reveal the grandeur of Buddhism and the power of Tang Dynasty. Gao Zong gave the permission to build a five-story brick pagoda only with the excuse that he did not want to toil Master Xuan Zang with that big project. As a result, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built in the west courtyard of Da Ci'en Temple. The construction began in March that year and was completed in two years.

 

Master Xuan Zang not only supervised the construction but also carried bricks and earth himself during the construction. When the pagoda wad first built, it was a five storey, 180-feet-high earthen pagoda coated with bricks without staircases. However owing to the destruction from the weed growing wildly out of the seams between the bricks, it went to decadence gradually. After the restorations in the Reign of Chan' an by Wu Zetian, and in Later Tang, Ming and Qing Dynasties, the present 64.7-meter-high pagoda has a base which is 4.2 meters high, 45.7 meters from east to west and 48.7 meters from south to north. The square cone-shaped wood-like brick pagoda with seven stories is the typical brick pagoda of ancient tower-styled pagodas in the country.

 

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