Famen Temple located in Famen Town, Baoji City, approximately 120 kilometers away from Xian. Famen Temple was built in the period of North Wei Dynasty, roughly in 499. The former name was called Ayuwang Temple, and in the early Tang Dynasty, it was officially named Famen Temple. And since then, it is famous as the imperial Temple. Due to preserving the finger-bone relics of Sakyamuni, it became the holy land nationwide. There are over 2,000 national treasures of Tang Dynasty excavated in the underground palace of Famen Temple, and it is the only one of its kind in the world.
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 containing various objects from the Tang Dynasty including sacrificial offerings and royal gifts.
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