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Home > Attractions > Cultural

Famen Temple

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Add:10 km north of Fufeng County 鎵堕鍘垮寳10鍏噷

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Situated in Famen Town of Fufeng County, about 120 kilometers (about 74.57 miles) west of Xian, Famen Temple is renowned for storing the veritable Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha.

Famen Temple was established in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25--220), for carrying forward Buddhism. The most representative structures in the temple are the Famen Temple Pagoda and Famen Temple Museum.

At the center of the temple is the 13-tiered octagonal pagoda under which it is said, a sliver of the finger bone of Sakyamuni buried. In 1981, subsidence of the pagoda led to reconstruction, during which, an Underground Palace was discovered unexpectedly in 1987. Many royal treasures and jewellery were found here-more than 2,000 pieces surrounded the Tang mandala (geometric designs, usually circular, symbolizing the universe). The most precious one is the veritable Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha. At present, this is the biggest Buddhist underground palace so far discovered. From the grand architectural style, it is said to have been established in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). But why, and how such precious treasures were stored under the pagoda. Tracing back to a most flourishing time in Chinese history, formerly, Famen Temple was the royal temple during the Sui Dynasty (581-618) and Tang Dynasty. Emperors in 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 to the finger bone was made, it was housed in the Underground Palace.

Due to the appropriate collection and further expounding of the cultural connotations of the treasures to the public, the Famen Temple Museum was established in 1987, which includes most of the precious treasures from the Tang Dynasty removed from Underground Palace, including gold and silverware, colored glaze ware, porcelain and silks. Owing to more and more tourists and their curiosity to the relics, two new exhibition halls were established in 2000. The exhibition area expanded from 500 square meters to 3,000 square meters, which well caters for the interest of tourists.

In 1987, a treasure trove was discovered in the temple when it was under renovation. The finds include four Buddhist relics, 121 pieces of gold and silver ware once for used for Buddhist worship in the temple, 400 pieces of colored glass and ceramics and a lot of silks contributed by empresses, including Wu Zetian, China鈥檚 first and only empress regnant.

Nowadays, Famen Temple, which is the most famous Buddhist temple, plays a sovereign role in Chinese Buddhism, and appeals to tourists from all over the world.

Admission: The admission fee for Famen Temple is 28 yuan. The admission fee for Famen Temple Museum is 45 yuan from March to November, and 30 yuan from December to February.

Opening hours: It opens from 8 am to 5:30 pm from March to November. It opens from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm from November to February.

How to get there: You can take Tourism Bus No.2 at the Railway Station.
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You'd better prepare some drinking water and food cause the consumption is quite expensive there.

  • Average cost: 120RMB

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