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Hwen Thsang

Hwen Thsang, also written Hiouen (Huven) T'sang (about 605-64), a Chinese Buddhist monk, and the most celebrated of those Buddhist pilgrims from China to India who have recorded their travels in quest of sacred objects and religious treatises. After travelling over China for several years as a teacher and a student of Buddhism, he settled at Chang-ngan (now Se-ngan-foo), where he became famous for his deep knowledge of sacred lore, and where he eventually died. In August, 629, he crossed the frontier, and plunged into the shifting sands of the Great Gobi desert. He crossed the Thien-shan mountains, over a glacier, and after much peril and suffering reached India, about which he travelled assiduously. He returned to China laden with precious books, etc., in 645, and was welcomed as a saint. His valuable itinerary was completed in 648. He translated into Chinese several Buddhist treatises brought from India.