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Big Goose Pagoda (Da Yan Ta)

Big Goose Pagoda,also called Da Yan Ta in Chinese,was built by the Emperor Gaozong in 652 at the request of the intrepid Buddhist Monk,Xuan Zang,after his pilgrimage to India.Xuan Zang requested a large stone stupa,like he had seen on his journey to the West,but instead the emperor offered him a stone and wood pagoda,originally called the Scripture Pagoda.It was here that Xuan Zang translated into Chinese the Sanskrit Buddhist texts,or sutras,which he had bought back with him.Ming-dynasty tablets recount the history of his life.The pagoda was originally five storeys.Another five were added in 703 but burned down to the existing seven storeys.Each storey has openings that look out on four directions and can be accessed by a vaulted passageway.The base of the pagoda is square,with four arched doors on each side.The inscriptions are from the Tang period and are adorned with coiling dragons and singing angles at the top.Above the western entrance is an engraving of Sakyamuni preaching the Law.A sweeping view  of the city rewards those who climb the wooden stairway inside the pagoda.