Hohhot White Pagoda is situated in Baita Village (White Pagoda Village) which was the site of old Fengzhou City in Liao, Jin and Yuan dynasties (916-1368) in 17km east of Hohhot suburb. The White Pagoda of Hohhot, which also called Avatamsaka Sutra Pagoda, is so named because of its color.Originally, it’s the sutra depository pagoda of a Buddhist temple in Fengzhou City of Liao Dynasty, called Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda (the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Flower Garland Sutras). With a height of 55.5 meters, this pagoda this pagoda is a seven-story octagonal pagoda with a structure of wood and brick. The whole pagoda is well structured to be a harmoniously unified entity. On its frontage, there’s a stone horizontal inscribed board carved with Chinese seal characters of “Ten Thousand Flower Garland Sutras”. On the surface of the pagoda body, there are exquisite relief works of Buddha figures and dragons. Statues there are lifelike in perfect modelling. On the inner side of the wall, there are 6 stone tablets of Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) and 200-odd notes in Chinese, Khitan, Jurchen, Phags-pa script, Mongolian, Tibetan and so on. These tablets and notes recorded the city construction, customs and other historical situations of Fengzhou at that time in detail. This pagoda is the finest pagoda in China’s existing pagodas of Liao Dynasty. In 1982, it was listed as a national key cultural relics protection unit.
Because of years of natural erosion and man-made damage, this pagoda now only leaves the sturdy body which is 43 meters high. Built in 1049, this White Pagoda is still basically complete. Under the sun, the whitewashed pagoda body shines and seems more magnificent and attractive. In order to protect this ancient building, relative units of Hohhot City and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region had invited experts on archeology, history, and architecture to inspect the White Pagoda and made a repair plan. They used three years to completely renovate the White Pagoda from 1985-1987. Now, the majestic White Pagoda of Liao Dynasty welcomes tourists at home and abroad with its old but also new appearance.
An existing earliest and largest Tibet style Buddhist pagoda in China, the White Pagoda is the most exquisite among all preserved Liao pagodas.
An existing earliest and largest Tibet style Buddhist pagoda in China, the White Pagoda is the most exquisite among all preserved Liao pagodas and a key national protected historical site inscribed in 1982. Though it had undergone numerous weathering, erosions, earthshocks and lighting stroke, the pagoda is strongly standing more than 700 years. Its beautiful shape of Liao style and the profound cultural meaning of Fengzhou, made it one of the Eight Scenes of Hohhot ranked in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The architecture features and highlights of the White Pagoda
The White Pagoda is an octagonal masonry-timber structurein pavilion style with 7 storeys. Previously 55.5 meter high and 56 meters long for base perimeter, the pagoda is only 43 meters high today due to hundreds of years’ natural erosion and artificial damages. In the pagoda, there is rotary stairway leading visitors to the top, the seventh floor for a overlook of the beautiful landscape.
The exquisite cavings on the surface of the White Pagoda,Hohhot
The magnificent pagoda is divided into base, body and top. It is an art treasure among China’s ancient pagodas which combined the art with sculpture. In the front is a stone horizontal board inscribed with the name of the pagoda. On the body, there are exquisite basso-relievo of Buddhas, Bodhisattva, Buddha’s warrior attendants, and other Buddhist patterns on the surface. These sculptures are graceful and vivid with fluent lines and high art values. On the walls inside the pagoda, there are well-preserved 6 stone tablets of Jin Dynasty, and more than 200 inscriptions given by visitors of past dynasties which are caved in many a language, Chinese, Qidan language, Nvzhen language, Mongolian, Tibetan, ancient Syrian, ancient Persian, and so forth. All the words are detailed and accurate records of the city construction, local conditions and customs of the time; they are the relationship among the nationalities, and the social condition and significant historical data for historical research of northern ethnic groups.