Famen Temple Xian
The Famen Temple is situated at Famen Town, Fufeng County, 120
kilometers west of Xi'an. It is renowned for storing the Finger Bone
of the Sakyamuni Buddha. Famen Temple was established in the Eastern
Han Dynasty (25--220), for carrying forward Buddhism. Although this
Temple is a fair distance from Xian, it is a fascinating place with
an intriguing history and it is worth making the effort to get here.
the Famen Temple will appeal to travelers who are journeying west
to explore the ancient Silk Road.
Visitors to the exhibitions in the Famen Temple Museum will gain a deeper appreciation of the Buddhist culture in ancient China, the religious importance, and follow the splendid history of the Famen Temple. Walking around the temple, the visitors will enjoy the beauty of the Famen Temple.
Legend has it that in 147 AD King Asoka of India traveled throughout Asia, distributing Buddhist relics as atonement for his sins and war like attitude. In China, he built this Temple and left the fingers of Buddha to be enshrined here.
Tang Dynasty Emperors revered this sacred relic and regularly walked
through the streets with the fingers followed by a huge worshipping
procession. The Tang Emperors offered wonderful gifts to the fingers
in an attempt to better their predecessors offerings.
As Buddhism was being introduced into China, the followers first erected the Ashoka Stupa. The ancient Indian Buddhist King Asoka awarded an authenticated finger bone of Gautama Buddha (Sakyamuni), the founder of Buddhism. In 67 AD during the Eastern Han Dynasty, a wooden four-storey structure was built and it was called Ashoka Temple. According to historical records, it collapsed between 1567 and 1572 in the Ming Dynasty. In 1579, the pagoda was rebuilt as a thirteen-storey brick octagonal pagoda more than sixty meters high. In 631, Emperor Tai Zong (Li Shimin) issued a decree to renovate the temple, and made it subject to none but the imperial court. The Famen Temple underwent other changes during succeeding dynasties of the Song, Ming, and Qing.
This legend was actually dismissed until 1981 when heavy rains revealed the crypt, shrine and underground palace completely by accident. The crypt contains the Buddhas fingers and gifts from the Emperors. The site is still seen as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists today
At present, the Famen Temple has not only been
restored to its original state, but has also been expanded on an
even grander scale and has become a sacred place for Buddhism. Famen
Temple is indeed a bright gem in the treasure house of Chinese history
Admission Fee: Famen Temple RMB 28, Famen Temple Museum , RMB 45
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: 3 hours
Bus Route: Take Tourism Bus No. 2 at the Railway Station