Xi'an: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping today visited the iconic Giant Wild Goose Pagoda built in 652 AD in recognition of monk Hiuen Tsang's 17-year-long journey to India and his efforts to popularise Buddhism in China.
Modi and Xi visited the Pagoda after holding wide-ranging bilateral talks here.
Prime Minister Modi also gifted a Bodhi sapling to the temple. In turn, the Abbot of the monastery gifted a figurine of Hiuen Tsang, also known as Xuan Zang, to Modi. Xi and Modi also posed for the photographers while shaking hands in front of the monument.
The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi'an. It was built in 652 AD, during the Tang dynasty and originally had five storeys.
The structure was rebuilt in 704 AD during the reign of empress Wu Zetian and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the reign of emperor Gaozang of Tang (649-683).
The monument, which currently stands at a height of 64 metres, was built in recognition of monk Hiuen Tsang's 17-year-long journey to India and his efforts to popularise Buddhism in China.
Hiuen Tsang undertook the journey to India through the ancient Silk Road and returned home after the 17-year sojourn with precious Buddhist scriptures.
One of the Pagoda's many functions was to hold sutra and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by Hiuen Tsang.