Giant Wild Goose Pagoda – Tickets, Opening Hours, Highlights, and Tips

giant wild goose pagoda

The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda or Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayata, 大雁塔) is a well-known Buddhist pagoda located in the city of Xi’an, China. Originally built during the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century, it has been rebuilt and renovated several times over the centuries, with the current structure standing at a height of 64 meters and seven stories.

The pagoda is named after a legend in which a group of wild geese transformed into Buddhist deities and descended on the site where the pagoda now stands. It was built to house and protect Buddhist sutras and artifacts brought to China from India by the famous Buddhist monk Xuanzang, who journeyed to India to study Buddhism and brought back many valuable texts.

The pagoda is not only a significant religious site but also a symbol of Xi’an and a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can climb the pagoda to take in stunning views of the city, and there are also cultural performances and exhibits showcasing traditional Chinese music and dance. The pagoda and its surrounding park have also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourLess than an hour
Opening Hours8.30 – 17.30; Last entry: 16.50
Ticket PriceThe Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is in Daci’en Temple. A ticket to the Temple costs 50 RMB. It is free of charge to appreciate the pagoda on the ground. But if you want to climb it, you need to pay another 25 RMB

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Location and Transportation

The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is in the southern part of Xi’an, in the Da Ci’en Complex, near the Shaanxi History Museum, about 4 kilometers from the city center, and is easily accessible by public transportation. The specific address is No. 4 Ci’en Road, Yanta District, Xi’an, Shanxi, China.

Bus: Take bus No. 21, 22, 23, 24, 44, 189, 224, 242, 271, 307, 408, 500, 526, 601, 606, or 609, get off at Yantaxilu Dongkou Stop (The East Side of Yanta West Road), and walk 50 meters to the east to reach the tourist spot

Subway: Take subway line 3 or 4, get off at Dayanta Station (Giant Wild Goose Pagoda Station), and walk 500 meters to the south to reach the entrance.

Self-drive: There are two parking lots to the south of the pagoda. But they are normally full unless you arrive really early in the morning.


Highlights of GIant Wild Goose Pagoda

Overall Style of the Building

Overall Style of the giant wild goose pagoda

the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a beautiful example of ancient Chinese architecture. It is built primarily of bricks and wooden brackets, and features intricate carvings and beautiful decorations. The pagoda has a square base and is designed to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. The original five-story structure was later expanded to ten stories and then reduced to seven stories because of an earthquake. The style of the pagoda is a mix of Indian and Chinese influences, reflecting the influence of Buddhism on Chinese culture.


The Statue of Sakyamuni

The Statue of Sakyamuni in giant wild goose pagoda

The statue of Sakyamuni in the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a rare and intricately designed wooden statue of the founder of Buddhism. Located on the first floor of the pagoda in Xi’an, China, the statue is approximately 6.5 meters tall and was created during the Tang dynasty. It is considered an important artifact of Chinese Buddhist history and culture, and is an object of reverence for Buddhists and visitors alike.

The statue has undergone several restorations over the centuries, including a major restoration in the 1960s to help preserve it for future generations. Its intricate carvings and details, including depictions of dragons and lotus flowers, make it a true work of art.


Buddha’s Relics

Buddha's Relics in giant wild goose pagoda

The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is home to sacred Buddhist relics believed to be part of the Buddha’s body, including bones and ashes. The relics are enshrined in the pagoda’s seven-story structure, with each level displaying a different set of relics. Visitors can view the relics in the pagoda’s exhibition hall and learn about their significance to Buddhism. The presence of these relics makes the pagoda a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists and an important destination for those interested in learning more about Buddhism.


Pali Text

Pali Text in Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

On the fourth floor of the pagoda are enshrined two pieces of Pali texts, namely Buddhist scriptures written in the ancient Indian language of Pali. It is a language closely related to Sanskrit and is considered the sacred language of Theravada Buddhism. These texts are a testament to the long-standing cultural exchange between China and India.


Music Fountain

 Music Fountain at Big Wild Goose Pagoda Square

The Music Fountain at Big Wild Goose Pagoda Square is designed to present an impressive display of water, light, and music that is synchronized to create a stunning visual and auditory experience. The fountain is situated in front of the iconic Big Wild Goose Pagoda and features a complex system of nozzles, water jets, and lights that are choreographed to music. The show is typically held in the evenings, and visitors can enjoy the spectacle from designated seating areas around the fountain.


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Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Choosing Photo Spots: If you’re aiming for picturesque photo opportunities, you don’t necessarily need to enter the Da Ci’en Temple. The best photo spot is actually near the Xuanzang Bronze Statue on the square. For photos with the red wall, head to the area beside the Dayuecheng Mall.

Evening Photography: The lighting around the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda may not be as vibrant in the evening, especially during the winter when the air in Xi’an tends to be hazy. Therefore, evening might not be the best time for capturing photos of the pagoda.

Understanding the History: If you’re interested in learning about the history of the Great Ci’en Temple, it’s essential to enter the temple and take a guided tour. Without a guide, you might only see a temple and a pagoda without understanding their historical significance.

Evening Activities: At 7:00 PM, head to the North Square of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda to watch the musical fountain show. Afterward, stroll from north to south, passing through “Poetic Chang’an” to admire the poetry lanterns hanging from trees, creating a romantic atmosphere. Continue walking until you reach the east side of Kaiyuan Square to watch the outdoor puppet show at 8:15 PM (which is distant and not interactive). Alternatively, queue up before 8:30 PM for the indoor puppet show at 9:30 PM (which is closer and interactive).

Choosing the Right Day: If you have flexibility in your schedule, consider visiting on a Sunday, as it tends to be less crowded compared to Saturdays.


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