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Xuanzang, Chinese monk and traveller

Xuanzang was a monk who travelled overland through Central Asia to India and brought back nearly 600 Buddhist texts.

It was an extraordinary journey, and a life that reads like a fairy tale. Xuanzang was born at the start of the seventh century in China. He studied as a monk and travelled for 16 years - first westwards, and then in a crescent back and down over the Himalayas to India . He returned a famous man, laden with Buddhists texts and artefacts. Historian Michael Wood has followed much of his route; he first discovered Xuanzang at university and became intrigued about his life. "I'm tempted to say this is one of the greatest lives in all the civilisations of the world," says Michael.

Joining him in discussion is Frances Wood and the presenter Matthew Parris.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

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28 minutes

Broadcasts

  • Tue 29 Sep 2020 16:30
  • Fri 2 Oct 2020 23:00

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