Zhan’ao Pagoda (占鳌塔) is situated in the Tide Bore Watching Park, Hainign City of Zhejiang Province. It is also referred to as “The Pagoda for Calming down the River” because it is said that the pagoda was built in order to subdue the god of the tide. Zhan’ao Pagoda is a loft-style pagoda built in the Song Dynasty and rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty and has a long history of more than 380 years up to now. The magnificent Zhan’ao Pagoda, with the height of 40 meters, has 7 storeys in appearance and 8 storeys inside, featuring the perfect place for watching the Qiantang spring tide. Tourists can have a view of the Qiantang Tide as well as the outlook of the whole ancient town from the top of the pagoda.
Zhan’ao Pagoda, as the typical Chinese pagoda, is the most exquisite one among all the pagodas in the coastal cities of Zhejiang Province, China.
The Origin of the Name
According to the ancient Chinese mythology, “ao” is a huge legendary turtle with the same emotions as human. However, the fluctuating of its emotions usually leads to disaster such as tsunami and the like, bringing misfortune for local villagers. Thus, the local people built the Zhan’ao Pagoda, hoping to subdue the huge turtle with the power of the pagoda because they thought that the holy Buddhist pagoda could subdue demons and monsters. As expected, from then on, the huge turtle never brought disaster to local people and the river became calm. So Zhan’ao Pagoda is also named “The pagoda for calming down the river”.