The pagoda, located in Caotang Temple in Huxian County thirty kilometers southwest of Xi'an City, was built for keeping the remains of Kumarajiva, an eminent monk in the Later Qin Dynasty. Kumarajiva (344-413) was a noted translator of Buddhist classics. His father was from India and he was born in Qiuci, today's Kuqa, Xinjiang. In the year 401 Yao Xing (ruler of the Later Qin Dynasty at the time) sent people to accompany Kumarajiva to Chang'an and asked him to translate Buddhist scriptures. He translated into Chinese quite a few Buddhist classics. The pagoda is said to be a sarira stupa for burying his remains. The pagoda was built in the Tang Dynasty.
The pagoda has a special structure. Although a pavilion-style pagoda, it has a base in the shape of mountains and waves and its Sumeru pedestal is carved with designs of waves. Its surbase, in the shape of a lotus flower carved with designs of waves, supports the octagonal pavilion-style main body. A door and windows with straight lattices are sculptured on its sides. The roof is formed by four square sections, and under the eaves are skillfully engraved, vivid images of flying apsarases. The pagoda's steeple also has its own unique style. The plain base is carved into huge petals of lotuslike flowers for supporting a huge oblate bead. The whole structure of the pagoda and its carvings are vigorous and graceful The pagodas main body is carved from jade of eight colours -- white, greenish, black, bright yellow, reddish, light blue, purple and dark gray -- hence it is also known as the Eight-Color Jade Pagoda.