As a province where many Khmer ethnic people living, Tra Vinh has a distinct beauty expressed through unique architectural works. Among the famous landscapes and monuments in Tra Vinh, Hang Pagoda is one of the most famous destinations, attracts visitors by its ancient beauty and fine art sculptures made by the skillful and talented hands of the monks and artisans of the pagoda.
General information about Hang Pagoda
Hang Pagoda, Khmer language called Kompong Chray is a famous Khmer Theravada Buddhist pagoda, located in cluster 3, Chau Thanh town, more than 5 km south of Tra Vinh city center, along Highway 54.
It was named Hang Pagoda because of gates built like a system of 3 caves close together, and Hang in Vietnamese language means cave. In which, the middle gate is a large cave, the two sides are two small caves. All three gates are solidly built with 12m thick wall, creating the feeling of standing in the gate like being in a cave.
Entrance fee: free
Explore the design style of Tra Vinh Hang Pagoda
The arched pagoda gate is a construction work of artistic and aesthetic design style that makes the difference between Hang Pagoda and the remaining Khmer pagoda in the province. They show a “trait” that Khmer Theravada Buddhism, also called Southern Buddhism, has an inheritance that does not change Brahminism, often quietly practiced in a dark cave, without passersby.
The main hall of the pagoda was built on a high ground, with many steps leading up, decorated with many patterns and motifs. The roof of the main hall was composed of many overlapping layers, on top of which is a towering, majestic tower. Inside the main hall are two tall rows and majestic columns, in the middle of the main hall is the altar. The large statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is placed on high, below are smaller Shakyamuni Buddha statues in many different postures.
In front of the main hall is a flagpole tower, the foot of the tower has a relief set of 7 Naga snake heads. The two sides have a set of 12 wheels symbolizing the twelve predestined fates. There is also a population of 12 animals, arranged in an arc to emboss a pair of dragons winding like a boat.
On the right side is also in the order of the gods riding goats, monkeys, chickens, dogs and pigs. In the middle, there is a god riding on the head of a snake and a god riding a horse arranged close to the screen. On the screen is a 4-sided tower with a roof, on both sides there is a statue of goddess Kinnari supporting the roof, on top is a set of 8 Buddhas with hands clasped.
Hang Pagoda is not a large, compared to other Khmer Theravada Buddhist pagodas in Tra Vinh province. However, the attraction of this pagoda is the wood carving workshop, with many products that resonate in the Vietnamese fine art market and a “bird sanctuary” exists nearby Tra Vinh city.
The campus of Hang Pagoda is about 7 hectares wide, this is a home of thousands of birds of all kinds, most of which are white storks, ivory storks, red-necked storks and herons. With a loved and protected by local people, birds are getting bolder. They nest on the area in front of the main hall, the monks’ house…With alls make this place peaceful. Therefore coming to Tra Vinh, you do not forget to visit Hang Pagoda.