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Famen Temple

the dagoba in Famen Temple in XianFamen Temple is located in Famen town, Fufeng County, 120 kilometers west of Xian City. It was widely regarded as the "ancestor of pagoda temples in Guanzhong area".

Famen Temple was originally built in the East Han Dynasty (206 BC–220AD), but was destroyed and rebuilt subsequently as a Buddhist farm. The Tang Dynasty (618-907) was the heyday of the temple when it grew into a scale of 24 courtyards. In 874 AD, Sakyamuni's finger bone had have been entombed in the temple to protect it during a period of rebellion. Famen Temple was established for carrying forward Buddhism. The most representative structures in the temple are the Famen Temple Pagoda and Famen Temple Museum.

Famen Temple

At the center of Famen Temple is 13-tiered octagonal pagoda under which, it is said, a sliver of the finger bone of Sakyamuni was discovered. From 5-12 May 1987, after the opening of underground palace, four relics claimed to be directly related to Buddha were found. Two of these were made of white jade. The third relic was from a famous monk. These three are called "ghost relics". They were placed together with a "true relic" in order to protect them. At present, this is the largest Buddhist underground palace discovered so far. Many royal treasures and jewelry were found here–more than 2,000 pieces surrounded the Tang mandala (geometric designs, usually circular, symbolizing the universe). The most precious item was the veritable Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha.

Judging from the grand architectural style, it is said to have been established during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). the front view of golden buddha in Famen TempleFamen Temple was the royal temple during the Sui (581 - 618) and the Tang Dynasties. Emperors during the Sui and Tang believed that enshrining and worshiping the bone of Sakyamuni would bring riches and peace to the land and its people. So an offering of treasure was made to the finger bone and it was housed in the Underground Palace.

Except the Buddha's relics and Gold & Silver Relics found in the Underground Palace in Famen Temple, there is Colored Glaze, which is glass of today. The unearthed glass apparatuses are mostly hollowware such as disks, plates and bowls, totally over 20 pieces. There were a lot of speculations of "Mystic Color Ceramics" prior to the opening of underground palace. Besides, the silk fabrics discovered in underground palace provided a convincing evidence that China's silk industry reached its prime time in Tang Dynasty. In addition, there were 88 niches of Buddha in the 13-storied pagoda in Ming Dynasty, each containing a figure. By 1939, there were only 68 left. Later after clear-up, there were totally 98 figures of Buddha, many containing scriptures, sealed at the times of Ming Dynasty and the Republic of China.

 

Famen Temple Tour

Two new exhibition halls were established in 2000. The exhibition area of Famen Temple expanded from 500 square meters to 3,000 square meters, which well caters for the interest of tourists. During Xian tour, you should not miss this attractive place.