During the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty a large sarira dagoba was constructed in Tayuan Temple. The temple was designed with the sarira dagoba as the center, with the main hall in the front and the Buddhist scripture chamber (library) at the back. The dagoba was surrounded by balustrades and a courtyard was attached to it in the east. The whole design was neat and well balanced.
It is a Lamaist dagoba on a square base, composed of a huge Sumem pedestal, an inverted-bowl body, and a thirteen-tier steeple crowned by a canopy, a crescent moon and a precious bead. Fifty meters high, it is one of the tallest Lamaist dagobas. The dagoba is brick inside and coated with white lime outside, so it is also called the White Dagoba, a landmark of Mount Wutai. The canopy, crescent and bead on the top, all made of copper and gilded, glitter bright under the sunlight. There are 252 little bells hanging from the umbrella-shaped canopy and around the middle of the dagoba, adding special charm when they jingle in the wind.
The construction of Tayuan Temple was recorded on a stone tablet dating back to July 1582 during the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty. The record was composed by the prime minister, Zhang Juzheng. It provides valuable data for studying the construction of the dagoba.