Pizhi Pagoda has a unique structure. It was first built in 753 in the Tang Dynasty and rebuilt between 1056 and 1063 in the Northern Song Dynasty. The present structure is the rebuilt one.
Pizhi is the Chinese translation of Pratyeka or Pratyeka-Buddha, which was used to refer to people who lived in times after Sakyamuni died and gained insight into Buddhism through self-study and cultivation and became Buddhas eventually, Pizhi Pagoda was dedicated to these people. Such pagodas are rare in China.
The octagonal, nine-storeyed pagoda of brick and stone is fifty-four meters high. The stone pedestal is carved on four sides with scenes of torture in hell. The nine storeyes are built of brick. The first to third storeys have pent roofs with brackets and balconies reinforced by similar brackets. The fourth to ninth storeys have pent roofs but no balconies. The iron steeple is fairly tall and well preserved. It is formed by a inverted bowl, discs, a sun, a crescent and a bead and is fastened to the eight corners of the roof by iron chains. On the ridge of each corner is an iron statue of a celestial guards to secure the chains.
The pagoda's internal structure is unique indeed. A brick pillar and brick steps lead from the first to the fifth storey, but after that only a winding staircase outside the pagoda is available for people to climb to the top. Such a structure, though occasionally seen in stone pagodas, is rare in brick ones.