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Famen Temple   

Famen Temple is located in Famen Town, Fufeng County, about 120 km west of Xi`an City. It is one of the most important Buddhist temples in the world, renowned and respected for a Buddhist sacred land where the precious veritable Finger Bone (sarira) of Sakyamuni (founder of Buddhism) was enshrined and worshiped.

Famen Temple was built during the Northern Zhou Dynasty to store the holy Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni and renamed to be "Baocheng Temple" in Sui Dynasty. The founder of the Tang dynasty Emperor Tanggaozu (Li Yuan) bestowed it the current name and the temple reached to its heyday in Tang Dynasty as "Royal Temple" as the site for seven important Buddhist ceremonies and activities. Since the reign of Emperor Tangtaizong, a great deal of manpower and financial resources had been spending in expanding and repairing the temple, which made it a grand temple comprising 24 courtyards, and the monks increased from about 500 at the beginning to over 5000.

In 874, the Finger Bone was buried in the Underground Palace under the Famen Temple Pagoda with many royal oblations, and the secret of the treasures were kept for thousands of years until in 1987, the palace was found by archaeologists when they were trying to rebuild the Fanmen Temple Pagoda.

For better preservation of two thousand precious cultural relics of the Tang Dynasty excavated from the Fanmen Temple Pagoda, Famen Temple Museum was built in 1989. Among all the treasures housed in the museum, the most precious ones are a gold-plating Buddhist abbot's staff and 13 pieces of royal china.


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