Vĩnh Tràng is a famous ancient pagoda and a unique architectural work, located in Mỹ Tho city, Tiền Giang Province. The beauty of the pagoda is not only concentrated in the visual arts but also a reflection of the art history of this region. Therefore, if you are interested in religion and truly want to enjoy the unique architecture, you should not miss this pagoda.
History and architecture of Vĩnh Tràng Pagoda
Vĩnh Tràng Pagoda is the best-known Buddhist pagoda in the Mekong Delta. The pagoda was built in the early 19th century by the endeavors of Mr. and Mrs. Bùi Công Đạt. At first, the pagoda was only a simple cottage
In 1894, monk Thích Huệ Đăng from Giác Lâm Pagoda (Gia Định) returned to the abbot to organize the construction of a great pagoda. Until today, the pagoda has been restored many times by many different monks, especially in 1907 and 1930, including the main hall, the three-arched-entrances, and the patriarch hall.
The pagoda has an area of 14,000m², 70m long, 20m wide, built of cement and precious wood, 1m high cast foundation, and surrounded by solid walls. The highlight of Vĩnh Tràng pagoda is the three-arched-entrances gate with the art of joining pieces of crockery and porcelain.
From the colors of various types of crockery, the ancient artisans have skillfully arranged many paintings illustrating the Buddha’s stories, folk tales, themes of the four supernatural creatures, flowers, leaves, clouds… great color like a picture.
Particularly, the façade of the pagoda is decorated in a harmonious European-Asian architecture with slender columns, curved arches, with reliefs of the eight fairy riding animals from the Renaissance period, Roman-style archesm, French iron wool, Japanese ceramic tiles. Inside the main hall and the ancestral house are boldly Vietnamese architecture with wooden statues that are skillfully and delicately carved.
The space inside the pagoda is home to many fine artworks of generations of artisans throughout Vietnam. For example, in the middle of the main column is a set of eight fairies, created around 1907 – 1908, by local artisans. The two main pillars are carved with the four Holy Beasts in Vietnam, donated by Mrs. Le Thi Ngoi in Ba Tri (Ben Tre) in 1909. In particular, at the temple, there is a set of eighteen Arhat statues. These 18 statues are located on both sides of the main hall wall, carved from jackfruit wood, each statue is about 0.8m high and 0.58m in width. The Arhats all rode animals, holding treasures in their hands.
Around the pagoda are ornamental gardens planted with many kinds of fragrant flowers and strange herbs, and ancient trees covering the shade, creating a great harmony between the natural scenery and the architectural space, making the pagoda more ancient and profound. Prominent in the middle of the park is a Maitreya Buddha statue in a sitting position in the middle of the park, with a length of 27m, a width of 18m, a height of 20m. This Buddha statue is considered the symbol of the pagoda.
Useful information about Vĩnh Tràng Pagoda
- Location: Mỹ An hamlet, Mỹ Phong, Mỹ Tho city, Tiền Giang province.
- Best for: Family, couple, solo
- Entrance: Free
- Opening Hours: Daily 06:30 – 18:30
With historical and cultural worth spoken, we think that this is spirit sightseeing site worth to visit in Tiền Giang province. And if you want to explore the Vĩnh Tràng pagoda, join us on our Mekong Delta tours.
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