(c. 338—422)

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(4th–5th c. ce).

The first Chinese monk to travel to India.stay for an extended period of time, and successfully return home. Spurred by a desire to obtain a complete copy of the Vinaya.or monastic rule, he set out in 399 through the oasis kingdoms of central Asia and across the Taklamakan desert. Once in India, he spent several years studying languages, collecting texts, and visiting famous sites. He returned via the southern sea route, staying in Sri Lanka for two years. He returned to China in 414, bringing numerous texts and artefacts, and spent the remainder of his days translating the texts into Chinese. He also composed a travelogue, called The Record of Buddhist Lands or alternatively Biography of the Eminent Monk Fa-hsien (2085 in the Taishō collection), that is a valuable source for Indian history.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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