Famen Temple is located in Famen Town 120 kilometers northwest of Xi'an. Although this Temple is a fair distance from Xi'an, it is a fascinating place with an intriguing history and it is worth making the effort to get here
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. This legend was actually dismissed until 1981 when heavy rains revealed the crypt, shrine and underground palace completely by accident. The crypt contains the Buddha's fingers and gifts from the Emperors. The site is still seen as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists today.
The museum here is excellent and contains various objects from the Tang dynasty including sacrificial offerings and royal gifts.
Photos of Xi'an Famen Temple
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