the small wild goose pagoda in xi’an

Saturday, April 18:  After leaving the Beilin Museum, I take a rickety three-wheeled taxi to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda outside of the Xi’an City Walls.  It’s quite a long and bumpy ride, and my head is rattling when I step out of the taxi and walk through the pagoda entrance.

Entrance to Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Entrance to Small Wild Goose Pagoda

It’s still a dark and dreary day, but at least it’s stopped raining.  I walk around the pagoda, admiring the views from different vantage points and angles.

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

The Xiaoyan Ta, or Small Wild Goose Pagoda, is a delicate 45-meter tall building constructed in 707, during the Tang Dynasty.  It’s a Buddhist pagoda of the Jianfu Temple, one of the three Buddhist Sutra Translation Venues of Chang’an City that have been well-known in the history of Buddhist sutra translation in China. During the middle period of the Tang Dynasty, a cultural organization known as Buddhist Sutra Translation Institute was established here; it was directly managed by the imperial government.  It attracted monks from different countries to translate Buddhist texts.

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is an example of Buddhist architecture built during the heyday of the Silk Road as a witness to the history of Buddhism’s introduction to China by India.  It was popular in Chang’an, the capital of the Tang Dynasty.

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

On one side of the pagoda are steps leading up, but first I have to buy a ticket to climb, which I do at the temple across the path.

Looking down at Jianfu Temple from Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Looking down at Jianfu Temple from Small Wild Goose Pagoda

The pagoda was originally fifteen stories, but the top two were damaged in an earthquake.  I climb up to the thirteenth story where I then climb a ladder through a hole to the jagged rooftop.  Here I find some wonderful views.

View from Small Wild Goose Pagoda

View from Small Wild Goose Pagoda

View from Small Wild Goose Pagoda

View from Small Wild Goose Pagoda

View from Small Wild Goose Pagoda

View from Small Wild Goose Pagoda

After exiting the pagoda, I take a stroll through the Jianfu Temple grounds.  Jianfu Temple, or Felicity Temple, and the pagoda are rare cultural relics from the Tang Dynasty, regarded as the Golden Age in Chinese history with its capital Chang’an as the most majestic city in the world at that time, according to a placard at the temple.  The temple complex was reconstructed in the Ming and Qing dynasty style and stands witness to the 1,000-year development of Xi’an City.

Jianfu Temple, or Felicity Temple

Jianfu Temple, or Felicity Temple

Peonies at Jianfu Temple

Peonies at Jianfu Temple

Small Wild Goose Pagoda as seen from Jianfu Temple

Small Wild Goose Pagoda as seen from Jianfu Temple

Garden at Jianfu Temple with Small Wild Goose Pagoda in the background

Garden at Jianfu Temple with Small Wild Goose Pagoda in the background

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

After leaving the pretty gardens of the temple, I walk around the rest of the complex, where I find a number of pavilions, a structure covered in red wishes, a bell and a Bell Tower.

on the grounds of Small Wild Goose Pagoda

on the grounds of Small Wild Goose Pagoda

wishes

wishes

Close up of wishes

Close up of wishes

Bell

Bell

Bell

Bell

Built in the Qing dynasty, the Bell Tower has a brick and wood structure, a multi-eaved hip-and-gable roof, and a giant iron bell that has been used for telling time and in Buddhist services.  During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the “bell chiming in the morning at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda” was one of the eight scenic attractions in the Guanzhong area.

Bell Tower

Bell Tower

Bell & Bell Tower

Bell & Bell Tower

I go out through the gate of a large wall, where I find interesting stone characters, cherry blossom trees, fountains, ponds, bridges, gardens and more views of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda.

Characters under the cherry blossoms

Characters under the cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Pond and bridge at Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Pond and bridge at Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Fountains in the pond

Fountains in the pond

Fountains and Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Fountains and Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Gardens & the Xi'an Museum

Gardens & the Xi’an Museum

Bridge at Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Bridge at Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Fountains & Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Fountains & Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Pond and fountains

Pond and fountains

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Gardens & Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Gardens & Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Strolling these grounds, I run across the Xi’an Museum, but I have no intention of going here since it has stopped raining.  I exit the pagoda grounds near the museum and head in a southerly direction.  The map I have shows that if I walk several blocks south along Zhuque Dajie and cross a road called Nanerhuan Lu, I will find Daxingshan Si, another Buddhist temple, off a narrow market street.

Xi'an Museum

Xi’an Museum

Xi'an Museum

Xi’an Museum

Little do I know just how long this walk will be.  Funny how things look so much smaller on maps!

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Categories: Asia, Bell Tower, China, Jianfu Temple, Shaanxi, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Travel, Xi'an, Xi'an Museum, Xiaoyan Ta | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “the small wild goose pagoda in xi’an

  1. Very beautiful area! Is the inside of the pagoda rough or finished? It looks like a big clay tower. Lovely flowers, too. And, I must mention how the Chinese do build some impressive looking museums! This one, like the one in Shanghai which I saw, seem to be built to stand the test of time.

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    • Thanks, Vivian. It was a pretty area surrounding the pagoda. The inside was finished, except where the earthquake destroyed the top story and you had to climb up a ladder and through a hole to get to the uppermost level. It does seem like every building in China is built to withstand the test of time; they do have a long history after all and I imagine their history will continue to develop throughout the ages. I saw the Shanghai Museum but I didn’t go inside because of the long queue; everyone was waiting to get into the museum on that rainy day!

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  2. Cathy the photo that just says Bell looks 3d, amazing!

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  3. I loved that picture of the wishes! I’m glad you gave up a close-up of it too. Looks like you had rain again though on the trip. I hope you stayed a bit drier than before!

    Nancy

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    • Rain, rain, rain – that’s all I ever seem to have in China, especially in the south where I live. I’m so tired of it! I’m glad you liked the picture of the wishes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely lovely respite from the big city. I too love the picture of wishes! and the delicate pink of the Cherry blossoms.

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  5. Cherry blossoms and peonies are fabulous!

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  6. Such contrast with the high rises in the background, and always the ubiquitous cranes.

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    • Yes, Carol, there seems to be no escaping the high rises and cranes, unless you can manage to get out to the countryside. I wish I could do that more often. 🙂

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  7. It’s such a beautiful, peaceful looking area. The peonies and cherry blossoms are wonderful, and I love how the reds are so striking.

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  8. When I scroll through with the mouse, the second photo looks like a 3D optical illusion – moving as I go up and down. Lovely stroll. My peonies aren’t out yet – maybe another 10 days or so. The crabapple and mayday blossoms are done here now, but the lilacs are just coming out. We’ve had a bit of rain over the last few days and the air smells magical.

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    • That’s funny how that 2nd pictures looks 3D to you! I bet your peonies are out now, as it’s taken me so long to respond. I apologize for that. I hope you’re enjoying your springtime flowers and rain. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It amazing that this lovely pagoda and gardens are so close to the modern buildings. I don’t know why it surprises me, but it does!

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  10. I also noticed all that new hi-rise building going up behind the historical area. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is so old yet appears to be in very good condition.I was there with a bus tour so just, briefly, saw the outside before carrying on to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. What was the inside like? The views were amazing.

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    • High rises are all around all the historical areas, Pauline, sadly. China is developing at breakneck speed and you see them almost everywhere unless you really get out into the countryside. The inside was very plain, but it was nice to see the views as I climbed up into the increasingly narrow heights. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My favourite bits are the flowers and the fountains, Cathy. A little natural beauty goes a long way. 🙂

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    • I know what you mean, Jo. I love nature too, and it’s hard to find it here unless you’re really in the countryside. In the cities, nature is always tamed and shaped by human hands. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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