Sponsored by Tang Emperor Gaozong (628-638, reigned 650-683), the temple was first built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty as a symbol of thanksgiving to his mother for her kindness who had suffered an early death. To protect the scriptures and statues he brought back from India, Xuan Zang (602-664), a famous Tang monk, made a proposal to the court to build a pagoda inside the temple. The proposal was accepted and a pagoda, named the Big Wild Goose Pagoda was first erected in 652 during the Tang Dynasty. The pagoda experienced many vicissitudes in the past centuries. The present structure boasts five stories with 59.9 meters in height and the base of the pagoda is 4.2 meters, totaling 64.1 meters in height.
Legend relates that one day a group of big wild geese flew over, suddenly one of them dropped from the sky and died on the ground. Monks were at a loss and did not know what to do. They said that the dead wild goose was a Buddha. They buried the goose and suddenly an imposing pagoda was erected, from then on, the pagoda owned its name as Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and was kept until now.