Famen Si Temple, Shaanxi
Temple Famen Si- a Repository of Buddha Sakyamuni Holy Relics
The temple was built during the reign of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-225 BC). But it was not until the Tang era, when Famen Si was granted a status of a court temple: being home for about 5,000 Buddhist monks. In 1987, the reconstruction of the temple revealed a rich treasure of gold and silver Buddhist relics, hidden under its foundation. In addition to the ritual objects there were a hoard of jewelry of gold, pearls and jade as well as silk products. The buried treasure, which belongs to the Tang era, was in the earth over 1100 years.
The Famen Si is a grand Buddhist complex, which consists of ancient and modern buildings, erected under the project Taiwanese architect Lee Tsu- yuan in 2009. With the total area of 90 acres, it strikes more with its modern part notable for immensity and grandeur. The admission fee to the complex is 20 yuan (about $ 20).
A 100 m-wide road stretching almost 1.5 km leads to the pagoda with the Buddha relics. You can walk this distance, as many pilgrims do, but it is possible to take advantage of an electric vehicle. At the end of a long driveway there is a sacred goal: the Pagoda with Sakyamuni’s relics. The more you approach it the stronger you can feel the swing and solemnity of the construction, possible to observe only with your head raised high.
A canopy over the pagoda is made in the form of two huge gold-plated hands, folded in the Buddhist greeting. The pagoda consists of two tiers. On the ground floor there is a hall, with the seated Buddha of the future - Maitreya, guarded with four celestial princes on either of his sides. The second floor houses a lot of pictures and statues of Buddhas , with its centerpiece occupied by a huge statue of Buddha Sakyamuni and his relics.
The Famen Si complex’s old part looks more modest in contrast to the Lee Tsu-yuan’s brainchild, but there prevails the spirit of the Temple centuries-old history. The central structure of the temple is an ancient pagoda, under which the ancient treasures were found. The basement of the pagoda houses a temple with an altar to pray and make a donation.