A pagoda is a multi-storied structure of stone, brick or wood that is shaped like a tower, and is usually used in Buddhist tradition to store sacred relics as well as the remains of prominent monks. Developed from the Indian stupa, these beautiful religious monuments can be found throughout many Buddhist countries in Asia, and many have historical importance in their regions. China has many famous pagodas, which not only serve as places of worship, but draw visitors from all over for as heritage sites.
Pagodas are built with many stories as a demonstration of majesty and worth in storing sacred relics. These were rebuilt with the help of the ruling class to show off its wealth and power, as well. These towers have three components: the base, which holds an underground chamber where the relics are kept; the body, where the statue of the Buddha is preserved, and the steeple ,which retains the stupaâ€™s original form.
Here are five famous pagodas in China that are worth visiting:
Photo courtesy of gwydionwilliams:
Big Wild Goose Pagoda â€“ built inside the Buddhist Temple of Grace in Xian, the capital city of the Tang Dynasty, this pagoda was asked to be constructed by the legendary monk Xuanzhuang (of Journey to the West fame) so he had a place to keep the sutras he procured from India. This 64-meter high pagoda was based on the ancient Indian wild goose pagoda (stupa), hence its name. Visitors have the option of paying to go up the tower, where various levels have points of interest, from the gold-coated bronze statue of Buddha to the exhibits of poems from outstanding Tang-era poets. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda has a smaller counterpart (appropriately called the Small Wild Goose Pagoda), as well as companion structures known as the Bell Tower and Drum Tower.
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