This famous Lei Feng Pagoda is on the south of the West Lake in Hangzhou. Originally constructed in the year AD 975, it collapsed in 1924 but was rebuilt in 2002. There are many legends and myths that surround this pagoda with the most dominant on being the Legend of Madam White Snake, a rather famous and classical tale of a human and a good hearted snake demon that falls in love. However a taoist priest called Fa Hai obeys the laws of heaven that such a union cannot take place and imprisons Madam White Snake in the Lei Feng Pagoda.
During China’s Five dynasties and Ten kingdom period, King Qian Chu built Lei Fong Pagoda to commemorate the birth of his son. Unfortunately, during the Ming dynasty, Japanese pirates burnt down the pagoda, leaving only the inner brick structure standing. With the popularity of the Legend of White Snake, many people came to steal the bricks to grind into powder as a miracle cure to some illnesses and to prevent miscarriage, causing the pagoda to finally collapse!
To prevent further defiling of the pagoda, the government decided to rebuilt the pagoda. On March 11, 2001 the mausoleum was excavated and many treasures were found, most notably a gold and silver coated hair of the Buddha. The new Leifeng Pagoda is built over the ruins of the old one though you can still see the remains of the original pagoda brick foundation through the glass basement of the pagoda. There were so many well kept artifacts dug out from the underground chamber of the original pagoda.
The new pagoda has all the modern facilities of air-con, lifts, elevators, televisions and speakers. Every level is hand crafted with gold, paintings, wood carvings, and a million other details. And right at the top, you can a very pretty view of the West Lake and the city.