In China, many temples house treasures and artifacts,
but the SHeer quantity and quality of treasures in the
Famen Temple is rare. Situated in Famen Town of Fufeng
County, about 120 kilometers (about 74.57 miles) west
of SH, Famen Temple is renowned for storing the veritable
Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha.
Famen Temple was establiSHed in the Eastern Han Dynasty
(25--220), for carrying forward Buddhism. The most representative
structures in the temple are the Famen Temple Pagoda and
Famen Temple Museum.
At the center of the temple is the 13-tiered octagonal
pagoda under which it is said, a sliver of the finger
bone of Sakyamuni buried. In 1981, subsidence of the pagoda
led to reconstruction, during which, an Underground Palace
was discovered unexpectedly in 1987. Many royal treasures
and jewellery were found here-more than 2,000 pieces surrounded
the Tang mandala (geometric designs, usually circular,
symbolizing the universe). The most precious one is the
veritable Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha.
At present, this is the biggest Buddhist underground
palace so far discovered. From the grand architectural
style, it is said to have been establiSHed in the Tang
Dynasty (618-907). But why, and how such precious treasures
were stored under the pagoda.
Tracing back to a most flouriShing time in Chinese history,
formerly, Famen Temple was the royal temple during the
Sui Dynasty (581-618) and Tang Dynasty. Emperors in Sui
and Tang believed that enSHrining and worShiping the bone
of Sakyamuni would bring riches and peace to the land
and its people. So an offering of treasure to the finger
bone was made, it was housed in the Underground Palace.
Due to the appropriate collection and further expounding
of the cultural connotations of the treasures to the public,
the Famen Temple Museum was establiSHed in 1987, which
includes most of the precious treasures from the Tang
Dynasty removed from Underground Palace, including gold
and silverware, colored glaze ware, porcelain and silks.
Owing to more and more tourists and their curiosity to
the relics, two new exhibition halls were establiSHed
in 2000. The exhibition area expanded from 500 square
meters to 3,000 square meters, which well caters for the
interest of tourists.
Nowadays, Famen Temple, which is the most famous Buddhist
temple, plays a sovereign role in Chinese Buddhism, and
appeals to tourists from all over the world.