Golden blanket: Millennia-old Ginkgo tree leaves cover temple ground in Xi’an

Stunning aerial photos show golden gingko leaves blanketing the ground at an ancient temple in the northwestern Chinese city of Xi’an, Shaanxi Province.

Legend has it that the 1,400-year-old tree, located at the Avalokitesvara Temple in the city’s Chang’an District, was planted by Emperor Li Shimin, the founding father of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Ginkgo trees are native to China, and this one is described as a “living fossil”. It is the sole survivor of an ancient group of trees that is said to be older than dinosaurs.

More stunning photos taken recently of the ginkgo tree were released online, showing its majestic sea of golden leaves. People have been traveling from all over China to visit the spectacular site since it began shedding its leaves in November.

View from above: The tree's leaves have created the illusion of a golden carpet at the Zen Buddhist Temple in Luohandong village, China.

The tree beautifully shedding its golden leaves and flowers next to the green mountainside.

Table and chairs underneath stunning ginkgo tree covered in thousands of golden leaves that have fallen off since the start of autumn.

With fan shaped leaves, the ginkgo is a large deciduous tree that will be completely bare and leafless in the heart of winter.

(All photographs are obtained from the Internet.)