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White Horse Pagoda

Dunhuang, China

If you are fascinated by the Buddhist culture and want to find out more about it, White Horse Pagoda is a must-see attraction. It also goes by the name of Baima Pagoda. It is hundreds of years old and has been refurbished many times over the generations. The white statue is surrounded by much greenery and trees around that gives it a sublime look. It has 9 levels, 12 m tall, and with a 7 m diameter. This has an interesting story behind it too. About 16 centuries ago the groundwork was laid for the White Horse Pagoda. A famous monk named Kumarajiva riding his white horse, upon reemergence from the West went all the way across the harsh desert. Unfortunately, the horse died as he entered Dunhuang, so he located a spot to bury it and continued his journey to spread and preach Buddhism in China. This statue was constructed to honor the fallen horse of Kumarajiva.

Found in Bai Ma Ta Village, the site is located 2 kms south from the downtown area of Dunhuang City. The entrance fee is set at RMB15. Opening time stretches from 08:00 till 18:00 in the evening. Spare at least one hours’ time for this important ancient monument. It is a short distance from city center but quite hidden, so it is advised to take a taxi which will take no more than 5 minutes. Or you can enjoy a scenic stroll to the pagoda, taking about 15 minutes.

White Horse Pagoda is a remarkable site on the famous Silk Road. Your journey to Dunhuang would be incomplete without taking a look at this historical relic. Visitors actually come here to pray more often than to see it as an attraction. The locals and the staff are very friendly and give such a warm welcome to the visitors. A very peaceful place that is away from the city life and main buildings. Very beautiful, very simple and much less crowded. Typical village life consisting of small farms and houses out of town, bundles of corncobs like mountains spread under the sun getting dried. With a light breezy atmosphere, surrounded by many benches around, it makes a great place for a lovely picnic time with friends and family. In spring season, on a sunny day, when the flowers are in full bloom, and the sky is crystal clear, the pagoda dominates the whole scenic view. It is a great spot to capture some terrific pictures then in front of the white pagoda.

After spending time here and absorbing all the information related to this object of virtue, one can wander back to the city along the calming lake side to visit the Shazhou night marketplace which is at a distance of 2 km northeast from the White Horse Pagoda. There are some great local food dishes there to munch after a tiring day of travelling and a vast collection of amazing arts and craft work to acquire some souvenirs for taking back home.

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