Leifeng Pagoda, a five-storey tall building of brick and wood with eight sides, is situated on the Sunset Hill south bank of West Lake. Leifeng Pagoda also called Huangfei Pagoda was built in 975AD at the order of King Qian Chu of Wuyue, one kingdom during Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. It was built to celebrate the birth of Qian Chu’s son who born to Huang Fei. Due to its location on Leifeng Peak, people began to name it Leifeng Pagoda. It collapsed in 1924 and was rebuilt in 2002.
Legend Related with Leifeng Pagoda
The reputation of the pagoda should thank to the best-known folk story in China, “The Legend of the White Snake”, a very moving love story. The story goes like the following. In Southern Song Dynasty, Bai Suzhen, a female white snake, transform herself into a beautiful woman and began to do good deeds by traveling to human world. Bai Suzhen then married a young scholar named Xu Xian. A monk named Fa Hai intervenes and forbids human being and spirits to marry. Fa Hai tried his best to cast the white snake into a deep well at Leifeng Pagoda.
Built in 975AD, Leifeng Pagoda was badly destroyed in the war during North Song Dynasty. And it was rebuilt from 1195AD to 1200AD by South Song Dynasty. The rebuilt pagoda took on its magnificent appearance, especially when it reflected in West Lake. And Leifeng Pagoda in Sunset, one of “Ten Views of West Lake” came into being.
During Ming Dynasty, it suffered a bad disaster. During the reign of Emperor Jiajing in Ming Dynasty, the Japanese invader besieged Hangzhou City and set fire to Leifeng Pagoda. The coves, balustrades and steeple was burned to ash, only left brick skeleton. During late Qing Dynasty, some superstitious and ignorant people believed that the brick of Leifeng Pagoda had magic function of curing all diseases and helped women give birth to boy baby. So the bricks and Buddhist scriptures were stolen. The pagoda was so severely damage that it suddenly collapsed in August, 1924.
The present pagoda was rebuilt in 2002 according to people’s wish.
Admission Fee: 40RMB
Open Time: 7:00-20:30
How to get to: Bus No. K4, K808, Y1, Y3, J5, 822, K822, Y7, K504, Y6, Y9.