Situated inside Ci'en (Thanks-giving)Temple, 4 kilometers south of Xian City, is one of the famous Buddhist pagodas in China. Sponsored by Tang Emperor Gaozong (628-683, reigned 650-683), the temple was first built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty as a symbol of thanksgiving to his mother for her kindness who had suffered an early death. To protect the scriptures and statues he brought back from India, Xuan Zang (602-664), a famous monk at that time, made a proposal to the court for a pagoda to be built inside the temple. The proposal was accepted, and the pagoda was first erected and named Big Wild Goose Pagoda in 652.
The pagoda experienced many vicissitudes in the past centuries. The present structure boasts five storeys with 59.9 meters in height and the base of the of pagoda is 4.2 meters totaling 64.1 meter in height and the base of pagoda is 4.2 meters totaling 64.1 meters in height. Legend relates that one day a group of big wild geese flew over, suddenly one of them dropped from the sky and died on the ground. Monks were at a loss and did not know what to do. They said that dead wild goose was a Buddha. They buried the goose and a pagoda was erected, hence the name, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.