Many tourists feel about Giac Lam Pagoda that this is a tourist destination in Saigon that cannot be missed. In addition, this ancient pagoda also carries many marks associated with the nation’s heroic history.

For those who love spiritual tourism, Giac Lam Pagoda is the first destination in the magnificent Saigon travel itinerary. Coming here, you will witness firsthand the unique architecture of the 300-year-old pagoda. 

General information of Giac Lam Pagoda

Giac Lam pagoda is located on the land at 565 Lac Long Quan Street, Tan Binh District. It’s also known as Son Can or Cam Dien. This is one of the oldest pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City which built-in 1744 by Mr. Ly Thuy Long, a native of Minh Huong, under the reign of Lord Nguyen Phuc Khoat.

Giac Lam Pagoda

The pagoda has gone through many periods of renovation and reconstruction. And the name “Giac Lam” was given to this pagoda after the arrival of Monk Thich Lam Quang in 1772. The Giac Lam pagoda was recognized by the Ministry of Culture and Information as a national historical and cultural relic in 1988.

Giac Lam Pagoda

The ideal time to visit Giac Lam Pagoda

Giac Lam Pagoda is open to welcome Buddhists and tourists to visit all year round. You can go to the temple from 7:00 a.m. to 21:00 p.m. every day. Many major Buddhist events often take place here.

Giac Lam Pagoda

If you are someone who likes excitement and wants to experience the feeling of immersing yourself in the atmosphere of important days with the Buddhist community of Giac Lam Pagoda, you should go to the pagoda on the following lunar days: January 15th, April 8th, July 15th, August 15th…

What is attractive in Giac Lam Pagoda?

The pagoda is featured by the rectangular-shaped building and divided into 3 smaller buildings: the main ceremonial hall, the dharma preaching hall, and the meeting hall. In general, the building is supported by a total of 98 pillars. At first, the pagoda did not have an entrance gate. The three-entrance gate of Giac Lam pagoda was built later in 1955.

Giac Lam Pagoda is built on a spacious plot completely surrounded by walls. After passing through the triple gate under the words “Giac Lam Tu”, you will immediately be dominated by a large statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara under a tall and healthy bodhi tree, a species of which Prince Siddhartha sat under while gaining enlightenment to become Gautama Buddha.

Giac Lam Pagoda

The Bodhi tree in Giac Lam pagoda

The tree present in the garden was brought to Vietnam as a great gift by a Sri Lanka Buddhist monk named in 1953. There is a Sarira Stupa, 32m high with 7 storeys. Each floor is in the shape of a hexagon which was located in the middle of the pagoda. It was built to store the samples of the relics of Gautama Buddha. Not only know as the tallest Buddhist towers but also noted landmark of the city.

Giac Lam Pagoda

The roof of Giac Lam Pagoda is designed in the shape which is very popular in Southern pagoda architecture. The pagoda’s roof consists of four panels, all of which are straight and do not have V-shaped blades like in pagodas in Northern of Vietnam. On the top of the roof is the image of “Two Dragons Fighting Over a Flaming Pearl”, contributing to expressing the solemnity of Giac Lam Pagoda.

Giac Lam Pagoda

The roof top of Giac Lam Pagoda

The main hall of Giac Lam Pagoda is a traditional folk house with two rooms and four main columns, also known as four pillars. The altars in the main ceremonial hall were made of bronze and precious wood same as another 113 statues in the pagoda. The doors located between the rows of pillars are carved with traditional decorative images such as Nine Dragons, the Four Sacred Animals (Dragon – Unicorn – Tortoise – Phoenix), and flowers… 

Giac Lam Pagoda

inside the main hall

The interior of the main hall of Giac Lam Pagoda is extremely brilliant. There are many beautiful and large statues here such as: Amitabha Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha, Maitreya Bodhisattva, Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva, set of Nine Dragon statues cast from bronze… Especially at Giac Lam Pagoda, there are 2 sets of statues of the Eighteen Arhats and 2 sets of The Ten Kings of Hell. They are among the oldest statues of the pagoda.

Giac Lam Pagoda

Behind the main hall of Giac Lam Pagoda is the area where the ancestral altar located, a place to worship the abbots of Giac Lam Pagoda through the ages.

Giac Lam Pagoda

Behind the ancestral altar is the lecture hall area designed in the style of the main hall’s roof. This is where monks come to attend important events and major festivals in Giac Lam Pagoda. During the resistance war against French colonialism and American imperialism, the lecture hall was used to nurture and care for Vietnamese cadres.

Source: collected by An