Giac Vien Pagoda
Location: Giac Vien Pagoda is located on Lac Long Quan Street, District 11, Ho Chi Minh City.
Characteristic: It has the ancient architecture of the pagodas built in the Nguyen Dynasty of the 19th
century, and typical characteristics of the southern area in terms of
the architecture, design and arrangement of the worshipping shrines.
In 1798, a monk
who was in charge of taking care of the restoration of Giac Lam Pagoda,
built a small pavilion for his daily prayers, called Quan Am Cac (Kwan
Yin Pavilion). In the third year under king Tu Duc's reign (1850), the
pavilion was rebuilt and named Giac Vien Pagoda. When building Dam Sen
Tourist Park, the Management Board decided to preserve Giac Vien Pagoda
intact and incorporate it into the park, making the park more attractive
due to its cultural-historical value. |
Giac Vien Pagoda has typical features, of southern Vietnam. The main shrine, also a big hall, is 360m2
in area, and used to worship Buddha. To its east and west, there are
corridors, a room for the monks to prepare clothing before assisting the
Superior Monk, and a large and spacious compartment at the rear. Along
the corridors, there are small altars with worshipping items. In
particular, there are rows of wooden pillars engraved with parallel
sentences. The letters are carved delicately and painted with red
lacquer and trimmed with gold. Around them there are decorative designs
of leaves and climbing plants. All 153 statues in the pagoda are made of
jack wood. The faces and postures of the statues look honest and they
are placed low, creating a close feeling between them and the viewers.
most attractive items are 60 plates, which are engraved on both sides
made of jack wood. They are made with gold. The most beautiful plate is
engraved with 18 fat, honest and smiling Arhats, with each riding on the
back of a buffalo, a cow, a pig, a goat... Some plates are engraved
with birds, ducks, fish ... but all looking alive. Other plates are
carved with fruits popular in the South, such as coconut, mangos teen,
durian, rambutan. These wooden engravings are the only ones that have
been kept intact in Vietnam.
The Buddhist spirit of the ancient
Viet people, during their migration south, accepted different religious
tendencies and sects, on condition that they were useful to society.
This is clearly seen through the items preserved at Giac Vien Pagoda.
For this reason, Giac Vien Pagoda became a centre for worshipping
ceremonies and discussions on Buddhism of the six southern provinces in
the 19th century- a prosperous time for buddhist followers and talents whose works remain valuable until today.
Vien Pagoda has been classified by the State as a cultural relic and a
mini-museum of wooden engravings of historical and artistic value. For
this reason, it attracts a lot of researchers and visitors all year