Ang Pagoda, called Wat Angkor Raig Borei in Paly language, is one of the famous spiritual destinations in Tra Vinh province. With unique architecture and have been exiting for more than 1000 years of history Ang Tra Vinh Pagoda always attracts many visitors from all over to visit, pray and learn about Buddhism.
General information of Ang Pagoda
When mentioning Tra Vinh, people think of the land of ancient Khmer pagodas and historical relics with many legends, associated with the journey to explore the Mekong Delta. Tra Vinh province has many Khmer pagodas, of which Ang pagoda is considered one of the largest pagodas, typical of Khmer pagodas in the province.
Ang Pagoda is located in Ward 8, Tra Vinh city around 130 from Ho Chi Minh City so if you want to visit the pagoda from Ho Chi Minh, the best way is booking a private car to Tra Vinh with a driver. The pagoda is located in the scenic cluster of Ao Ba Om and the Khmer ethnic cultural museum, a highlight not to be missed in the tourist map of Tra Vinh.
Looking from afar, you will see the pagoda’s buildings with tower-shaped architecture rising straight to the sky, with a magnificent and magnificent beauty but no less solemn.
According to history, Ang Pagoda was first built in the 10th century (990) and was re-built again in 1842. Since then, the pagoda has been restored and repaired many times, including the construction of new auxiliary buildings such as monks’ houses, main halls… but the main hall basically remains in the same state as when it was first formed.
Architectural beauty with bold traditional features
Ang Pagoda was initially built crudely, roofed with bamboo and leaves. By 1842, the pagoda was repaired, built with precious wood, tiled roofs and brick walls. The pagoda’s space is extremely pure, shaded by trees such as bamboo, and ancient oil trees. The pagoda is surrounded by a deep moat. The main gate is majestic, consisting of 3 towers, with a statue on top. On both sides of the pillar are images of fairies and magical birds following traditional motifs of Khmer culture.
Almost the same as many other Khmer pagodas in Tra Vinh, Ang Pagoda is a complex of architectural works including a monastery, a lecture hall… surrounding the majestic main hall.
The center of the Khmer temple is the main hall (Preah Vihea) worshiping Buddha, which converges and reflects the level of contemporary artisans in the art of architecture, painting, sculpture… The entire main hall is supported by pillars and 18 columns made of precious wood. Inside the main hall is a large space with 12 pillars decorated with dragon images, painted and gilded.
The roof of the main hall of Ang Pagoda is uniquely structured, including three roof levels with beautiful and harmonious colors.
The roof mounds have the snake god Naga with a curved crest, symbolizing the bridge between the world and Nirvana. The Buddha altar is a wooden lotus flower carved with intricate motifs. On the ceiling are four monumental frescoes showing four stages in Buddha Shakyamuni’s life: Buddha’s birth, Buddha’s renunciation, Buddha’s enlightenment and Buddha’s entry into nirvana.
Similar as other Khmer Theravada pagodas, the main hall of Ang Pagoda only worships Shakyamuni Buddha in a meditating sitting position. On the pedestal is the main statue 2.1m high and 55 Buddha statues made of cement and precious wood, all gilded with gold. Ang Pagoda still preserves many precious ancient artifacts, especially Buddhist scriptures written on leaves.
In front of the main hall is a tower containing the remains of the monks who presided over the temple through the ages. What is special is that this is the only five-spired tower among Khmer temples in Tra Vinh which is the influence of Hindu thought on the universe, nature and humans.
In the spiritual life of the Khmer people, the pagoda is not only a place to practice and perform Buddhist rituals but also a place to preserve and transmit traditional cultural values from generation to generation. With those great material and spiritual values, Ang Pagoda was ranked a national historical-cultural relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in 1994.
Useful information about Ang Pagoda
- Best for: solo, family, student, pilgrims.
- Entrance: Free
- Tourist spots nearby: Museum of Khmer Ethnic Culture, Vam Ray Pagoda, Ong Met Pagoda, Ong Temple, Ba Om Pond..