Tra Vinh is a beautiful land in the Mekong Delta, where 3 ethnic groups live: Chinese – Khmer and Kinh. In particular, the Khmer people live very densely, so the cultural traditions of the people here are imbued with the colors of the Khmer people, the most prominent being the system of pagodas and temples. Currently in Tra Vinh, there are more than 140 Khmer pagodas with extremely unique and eye-catching architecture, and Ong Met Pagoda is one of them. Today, let’s join Viet Dream Travel to learn and explore this many-year-old pagoda!

General information about Ong Met Pagoda

Ong Met Pagoda (Vietnamese: Ông Mẹt), is located on 50/1 Le Loi Street, Ward 1, Tra Vinh City. The pagoda was founded in 642. Previously, the pagoda was called Wat Kompong, which translates to Ben Pagoda (Vietnamese: Bến Pagoda) because there used to be a wharf with a river and canals for boats to anchor. Later, the pagoda was named Bodhisàlaraja, meaning the Bodhi tree symbolizes enlightenment, the Bodhi tree is like the king of trees.

With the location right in the city center, convenient for road and waterway transportation, Ong Met Pagoda is not only a large pagoda but also becomes the center of Khmer Buddhism. The pagoda is connected to other Khmer pagodas in the province, as well as the southwestern provinces and was chosen as the location for the Khmer Buddhist Administration Office of the Mahanikay sect.

Ong Met Pagoda

In addition, the pagoda also became a training center for many generations of talented monks, making an important contribution to the development of Buddhism, Khmer national culture and contributing to the history of revolutionary struggle of ethnic communities in Tra Vinh. That’s the reason Ong Met Pagoda has been highly appreciated and ranked as a national historical-cultural relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and is also recognized as a type of architecture unique art in 2009.

From Ho Chi Minh city, it would takes nearly 3 hours of driving to get here, so renting a private car with a driver would be the best way to visit the pagoda. The location of the pagoda is very favorable, located in the center of Tra Vinh city, convenient for travel and transportation of tourists who want to visit and explore the pagoda. 

Ong Met Pagoda

The three ancient and great pagodas in Tra Vinh are: Ang pagoda, Hang pagoda and Ong Met pagoda, of which Ong Met pagoda is the oldest recorded by historical documents, several hundred years earlier than Ang pagoda.

Architectural beauty of Ong Met Pagoda

Like other Khmer pagodas, Ong Met Pagoda includes many architectural works such as: gate, main hall, sala (assembly house), flagpole, monkshood, memorial tower… Although it was built in different stages, made of different materials and used for different purposes, these independent architectures exist harmoniously in a common architectural whole imbued with Southern Khmer cultural identity.

Ong Met Pagoda in Tra Vinh

The gate of Ong Met pagoda is built firmly and majestically, with 8 pillars supporting the gate roof. On the top of each column is carved the image of the god Keyno bird as if to send a friendly invitation to visitors to visit. On both sides of the gate are beautiful walls decorated with pairs of seven-headed snakes, which are sacred symbols for the Khmer people.

Ong Met pagoda

The gate of Ong Met Pagoda is designed with a typical and unique style of the Khmer people

The pagoda currently has a very large area of 12,900 square meters with many landscapes, beautiful scenery and a solemn main hall. The pagoda consists of many harmonious structures surrounding the main hall, on a campus of nearly 1.3 hectares, surrounded by a closed wall, the front facing Le Loi street.

Ong Met pagoda

The campus of the pagoda

Ong Met Pagoda Tra Vinh

Buddha statue in the pagoda grounds

The main hall is built with 32 pillars made of precious wood, divided into 4 rows. At each end of the column and horizontal skewer, there are carved patterns painted in red and gilded gold. The two gables in front and behind the main hall are two precious wooden panels elaborately carved with many images representing the spiritual cultural life of the Southern Khmer people.

The main hall of Ong Met pagoda

The main hall

The main hall of Ong Met Pagoda was built in the East direction, rectangular in shape, located on steps. That’s why the pagoda is cool and dry all year round. The main hall is roofed with 3 layers of pyramidal roofs.

At the first corner of the tile layers there is a winding dragon tail, very sharp and delicate. This dragon motif is the sacred symbol of the snake god Nagar. The tiled roofs are also carved with intricate patterns. The main hall is located on 1.35m high steps, creating a majestic, imposing posture, surrounded by a fence.

Ong Met Pagoda

All parts of the pagoda such as columns, rafters, beams, and ceilings are meticulously designed, and the patterns are painted with luxurious gold lacquer. There are two gable, one is carved with sunflowers, and another one is carved with two lions holding parasols covering a tray for scriptures.

Ong Met Pagoda

On both sides of the main hall’s walls are paintings illustrating Buddhist relics. When exploring inside the main hall, the first thing that catches visitors’ eyes is the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha on a large lotus placed on the altar in the center of the main hall, 4.4 m high, 5 m long and 5 m long. 4.3 m wide. This is one of the largest Buddha statues in Khmer pagodas in Tra Vinh province. On the right is a large altar, in the middle is a statue of Preaschi meditating on a lotus, surrounded by Buddha who attained enlightenment, all of them look very majestic and solemn.

Ong Met Pagoda

Inside the main hall of Ong Met Pagoda

Behind the main hall is the library with the unique architecture of a traditional wooden stilt house of the Southern Khmer people. All 24 column heads, central and longitudinal… are elaborately carved and painted with gilded vermilion. The library has three compartments, the middle compartment is book store, including many ancient bibliographies. The two other rooms on both sides are reading and studying places for monks.

Furthermore, the space at the pagoda is very large, pure and peaceful, helping visitors have moments of relaxation after tiring working hours.

Ong Met Pagoda

Ong Met Pagoda converges Khmer cultural characteristics and is also a symbol of the Southern Khmer Theravada sect. The pagoda is not only a place to practice religious rituals but also a center for community cultural activities.

Ong Met Pagoda

Unique statue in Ong Met Pagoda

Useful information about Ong Met Pagoda

Source: collect by An

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