Built in 652, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta) is one of Xi’an’s oldest structures. While its form follows the typical pagoda style of several successive levels, it lacks the decorative frills typically associated with such buildings in China. Within you’ll find Buddha statues and religious relics brought from India along the Silk Road.
The stone Big Wild Goose Pagoda is one of Xi’an’s most notable landmarks, and it’s almost always included in city sightseeing tours around the ancient city. It’s usually visited along with other Xi’an attractions, such as the Terracotta Warriors in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Xi’an City Wall, Muslim Quarter, and the Bell Tower.
Within the structure, a spiral staircase leads up to an overlook with a panoramic view of the city. Visitors pressed for time in China who still want to see this and other Xi’an highlights can do so with a day trip by air from either Beijing or Shanghai.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The pagoda is a must-see for first-time visitors and travelers with an interest in Chinese or religious architecture.
- Visitors must pay an entrance fee to Da Ci’en Temple, as well as a separate fee to climb the pagoda.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes, especially if you plan to climb the pagoda tower.
How to Get There
Several public buses stop at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, but the easiest way to get there is to take the Xi’an Metro to either Dayanta or Xiaozhai stations. The latter is about a 10-minute walk from the pagoda.
When to Get There
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is open daily throughout the year. For the best weather for enjoying this and other outdoor attractions in town, plan to visit from March to May or September to October.
Da Ci’en Temple
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda sits on the grounds of Da Ci’en Temple. While the grounds of the Buddhist temple are much smaller than their original size, they still exceed 12 acres (5 hectares). Xi’an’s Drum Tower and Bell Tower sit to either side of the entrance, with a series of structures running along its central axis, including the Hall of Mahavira, Sermon Hall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang.