china edition
 

 

Xian - Famen Temple

Shaanxi - Xian - Yan'an

Famen Temple is located in Famen Town 120 kilometer northwest of Xian. It's the famous temple as dagoba for the bones of Sakyamuni in the ancient times.

Famen TempleFamen means the initial approach to become a Buddhist believer. The Famen Temple was first built during East Han dynasty. In 147 AD King Asoka of India traveled throughout Asia, distributing Buddhist relics as atonement for his sins and war-like attitude. In China, he built this Temple and left the fingers of Buddha to be enshrined here, so the Famen Temple pagoda, also named "the Real Spirit Pagoda".

The Famen Temple Pagoda was originally a wooden 4-storey structure, which fell down due to an earthquake in 1569. The rebuilt one is a 13-storey brick building. It took 30 years to complete the whole project. Most of the body of the Pagoda collapsed in 1981 due to constantly rainy season.

During the course of rebuilding the pagoda in 1987, an underground vault was discovered beneath the foundation of the pagoda. The palace is 21.2 meter long with an area of 31.84 square meter. A large amount of Buddhist relics were found including 4 finger sarira relics, 121 gold and silver articles, 17 glass articles, 16 pieces of olive green porcelain, more than 700 pieces of silk fabrics, 104 Buddhist figurines, hundreds of volumes of Buddhist scripture and many stone carvings and steles. They are national treasures.