White Pagoda Hill Park (Baitasi)

White Pagoda Hill Park, Lanzhou Attractions, Lanzhou Travel GuideLocated to the north of the city, on the far bank of the Yellow River, the White Pagoda Hill Park is a large, quiet area that was first established in 1958, rising 1,700 meters above sea level and covering an area of three million square meters. The nearby bridge, Zhongshan Bridge, was the old crossing point for travelers and merchants who were then to head north on the Silk Road. The hill took its name from the white pagoda in Baitasi (White Pagoda Temple) on its summit. The pagoda was built to commemorate a Tibetan lama of the Sa-skya-pa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism who died in Lanzhou on his way to Mongolia for an audience with Genghis Khan. This temple was first constructed in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 AD). And then the temple was rebuilt and expanded in the Ming (1368-1644 AD) and Qing (1644-1911 AD) Dynasties. Nowadays the center point of the temple is an octangular17-meter high building with seven-storey White Pagoda, is a solid brick structure and is the only external part that betrays its name. There are a few more sights that are worth visiting here. The Buddhist halls to both the east and west in the temple are of beautiful Chinese architecture. The forest itself is a pleasant stroll, and a visit to the peripheries will turn up the odd pavilion, mosque, teahouse or tout.

Baitasi boasted three treasures-a drum made of elephant skin, a bronze bell, and a shiny-leafed yellow horn. The tree was planted by Yunxuan, abbot of Ci'ensi (Temple of Grace) but died for lack of water long ago. The other two treasures are still extant.