Traveling to Can Tho will give you many unforgettable experiences, from the life of the floating market to the uniqueness of the ancient houses. Furthermore, it also a spiritual land where many famous pagodas located, and one of the new hot spots is Truc Lam Phuong Nam Monastery.
About the monastery
Truc Lam Phuong Nam Monastery is located in My Nhon hamlet, My Khanh commune, Phong Dien district, about 15 km from the center of Can Tho. This is one of the largest monasteries in Southwestern Vietnam.
The monastery followed the Truc Lam Yen Tu sect of Emperor Tran Nhan Tong who led the Vietnamese against the Mongol invasions. When the country was at peace again, the emperor ceded the throne to his son and went to Yen Tu mountain to practice on his own. He founded Truc Lam Yen Tu sect, showing influence from Confucian and Taoist philosophy.
The architecture of Truc Lam Phuong Nam Monastery
The monastery was built in the style of the Buddhism Ly – Tran Dynasty.
The main triple-gate has curved arches with a stylized dragon’s head, made of precious wood, and roofed with red tile. In the middle of the gate is a wooden sign engraved with gilded embossed letters “Truc Lam Phuong Nam Monastery”. Below the sign on both sides of the gate are two statues of Dharmapala.
Through the entrance is a spacious bright red-brick courtyard leading to the sanctum. You will see two range of marble statues of the Eighteen Arhats, arranged parallel, each side consists of 9 talentedly sculptured figures.
On the right side of the sanctum, the bell-tower with a high curved roof followed architecture in Keo Pagoda (Thai Binh), has a bronze bell weight 1.5 ton. On the left side of the sanctum is the drum-tower with an elaborately, exquisitely sculptured drum shelf. All the above items are made from about 1,000 blocks of ironwood imported directly from South Africa.
One Pillar Pagoda is built next to the drum-tower, followed the same style of the original one in Hanoi.
The sanctum is tiled with eight roofs in the style of Buddhism from the Tran Dynasty. The pagoda roof is a typical architectural model that simulates the agricultural life of the Vietnamese people. The floor is lined with red brick. All 44 wooden columns are solemnly put on the granite stone boards with stylized sculptured lotus flowers. Particularly, the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha worshiped in the sanctum is made of bronze, weighs 3.5 tons, and 2 meters hight, meditating in the lotus flower. The Bodhisattva statue and others are carved by keteleeria davidiana wood which as around 800 years old.
With these spiritual meanings and specialties, Truc Lam Phuong Nam Monastery is considered one of the most unique works of art in Can Tho city. It has brought an extremely meaningful spiritual cultural values, surely make you feel peace of mind and enjoyment.