Vinh Trang Pagoda (Vietnamese: chùa Vĩnh Tràng, chùa mean pagoda) 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 Vinh Trang Pagoda

Vinh Trang 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.

Vinh Trang Pagoda

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.

Entrance of Vinh Trang Pagoda

Entrance of Vinh Trang Pagoda

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.

Entrance of Vinh Trang Pagoda

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.

Inside the main hall

Inside the main hall of Vinh Trang Pagoda

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 the pagoda there are also 3 large Buddha statues: Amitabha – 98 cm high; Guanyin and Mahasthamaprapta are 93 cm high and a large bronze bell called is 1.2 m high, weighs about 150 kg and has the word “Vinh Truong Tu” engraved on its body, cast in 1854.

Vinh Trang Pagoda

Buddha statues in the main hall

bronze bell in Vinh Trang Pagoda

This bronze bell was cast in 1854

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.

Vinh Trang Pagoda

Arhats status in Vinh Trang Pagoda

Particularly in the front part outside the main hall, visitors will see Renaissance-style patterns or Roman-style arches. This is French iron wool, that is Japanese ceramic tiles. You will also see familiar features such as Chinese characters written in the ancient seal script, and national languages written in the Gothic script.

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.

Vinh Trang Pagoda

Maitreya Buddha statue

The statue of Shakyamuni Buddha entering Nirvana was started on February 15, 2012, completed on February 15, 2013, and inaugurated on March 26, 2013. The statue is designed to lie in an auspicious position, 32 m long, 10 m high, weighing about 250 tons with a very gentle and peaceful facial expression that makes all pilgrims feel of relaxing.

Vinh Trang Pagoda

The Reclining Buddha Statue is 32 meters long and has a majestic appearance.

Outside the pagoda is a campus with many ornamental trees, many tall old trees, a shady orchard and a beautiful lake. With great historical values and unique architecture, Vinh Trang Pagoda was recognized as a national historical and cultural relic in 1984, becoming a tourist destination in Tien Giang that attracts a large number of tourists from all over to visit and admire.

Join with our Mekong Delta tour to visit Vinh Trang Pagoda and Thoi Son Islet for 1 day.

Useful information about Vĩnh Tràng Pagoda

Source: collected by An

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