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Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda

Wanbuhuayan Pagoda
The Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda (wàn bù huá yán jīng tǎ 万部华严经塔) is located in the southeast of Baita (bái tǎ 白塔) Village in the east suburbs about 17 kilometers (11miles) from Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda was said to be built in Emperor Shengzong's (shèng zōng 圣宗) reign (983 - 1031) of the Liao (liáo 辽) Dynasty (916 - 1125). In 1982, the Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda became a national key cultural relic site.


Summarypagoda
It is said that about ten thousand volumes of the Huayan Buddhist Scripture once were kept in the pagoda, hence its name Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda, meaning "Ten Thousand Huayan Buddhist Scriptures." Due to its white surface, the pagoda is also called the White Pagoda. In 1982, the Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda became a national key cultural relic site.


What to Visit
With a height of 55 meters (180 feet), the Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda is a seven-tier octagonal brick and wood structure. In order to survive earthquakes, many wooden stakes were wedged in the walls to reinforce the structure. Each story of the pagoda consists of the exterior wall, the interior wind bellwall and the cloister between them. A spiral staircase connects the stories together and leads to the top of the pagoda. Bronze mirrors are embedded under the eaves of each side of the pagoda. Wind bells hang on the ceiling of the corner of each story and on the rafter of the seventh tier. Approaching the pagoda, tourists can see the bronze mirrors gleaming under the sun and hear the euphonious sound of the wind bells.

The head of a gargoyle-like mythical figure has also been found at the pagoda, and it is believed that the original pagoda was adorned with several ornamental heads of this type, which, in this particular case, seems to be a cross between a dragon and another fantasy creature known as a makura, which is common to India, causing some to speculate that the Khitan version of Buddhism had a very strong link to its country of origin; mainstream Chinese Buddhism had long since become Sinicized.

Pedestallotus petals
The Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda is built on a huge pedestal with a perimeter of about 56 meters (184 feet). On the pedestal are carved beautiful lotus petals. The sculptures of Bodhisattvas, Heavenly Kings and other Buddhist figures are embedded on the surface of the walls of the first and the second tiers. These sculptures are considered to be the finest expressions of the sculpturing art in the Liao Dynasty.

inscriptionStone Tablet Scripting and Steles
Each story of the pagoda has two gates. On the door head of the south gate of the first story is embedded a plaque with the inscription, 'Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda’, along with exquisite relief of Buddha, Bodhisattva, Warriors and other Buddha figures. Originally, nine Jin (jīn 金) Dynasty (1115-1234) steles were preserved on the first floor. Only six remain extant today.

Tablet Inscriptionstablet inscriptions
Inside the pagoda, you can find many scriptures and tablet inscriptions written in different languages, including Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Nvzhen (nǔ zhēn 女真), Qidan (qì dān 契丹) and language of other ethnic groups. This is a good demonstration of association and exchange between different nationalities in ancient times.


Opening Hours: 8:30-17:30
Admission Fee: CNY 5
Location: In the southeast of Baita Village in the east suburbs about 17 kilometers (11miles) from Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
How to Get there: Take Bus No.12 from Hohhot and get off at the Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda stop.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 10 September 2010 18:47
 

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