In China, many temples house treasures and artifacts, but the sheer quantity and quality of treasures in the Famen Temple are rare. Situated in Famen Town of Fufeng County, about 120 kilometers (about 74.57 miles) west of Xian, 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 jewelry 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.
Address: Fufeng County, Shaanxi Province