Famen Temple's space station-like Heshi Pagoda houses a finger bone of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. Famen Temple is located near Baoji, Shaanxi Province. Photo taken April 8, 2015. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com/William Wang]
History converges with the future at the Famen Temple Cultural Scenic Area. The main attraction is the 1700 year old pagoda which once housed a finger bone of the original Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. Gautama is the legendary Buddha who first gained enlightenment while meditating under the Bodhi tree in India.
In the Tang Dynasty, the edifice was a four-story pagoda, but it was further built up in the Ming Dynasty. It has a basement level which is open to the public, where relics are displayed. Experts confirmed that a bone from the Buddha was discovered here along with several other relics connected with Siddhartha Buddha.
However, for security the finger bone has since been relocated a few hundred meters away, in the futuristic Heshi Pagoda. In 2009, this space station-like building rose up from the surrounding plain. Designed by the same architect who created Taipei's tallest skyscraper, the building, its surrounding structures and vast circumscribing space all contribute to a feeling of strength, power and emptiness. The pagoda itself houses a number of large Buddhas, while thousands of small ones cover the interior walls.
The total area of the scenic area is huge, though visitors will focus on the temples mentioned as well as the museum which contains a decent collection of Buddhist relics.
Famen temple is located 96 km west of Baoji, Shaanxi Province.
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