Day By Day

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

China Diary -- Part 14 The Wild Goose Pagoda

The next morning we were up and on the road early. Our first stop was at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda built back in the seventh century during the Tang dynasty. The tower itself is surrounded by a Buddhist monastery and gardens where you can see the monks going about their business, their heads humbly bowed in meditation and prayer.

Or maybe not.

The gardens are gorgeous and filled with the sound of birds singing. Here's why.

There are dozens of caged songbirds placed throughout the garden ensuring that everywhere you go, you hear the sounds of birds.

And everywhere you go you encounter shrines to the Buddha. In fact the monastery was established to house the many images of the Buddha brought to China from India by the famous translator Xuanzang.

And there are many quiet, shady places where the faithful can sit and meditate or pray.

Or, in my case, just rest. I would have lingered a long time in these lovely gardens, but there was much left to see, so we reassembled, got on the buses again, and headed to the next site.