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Vietnamese National Pagoda

Vietnamese
National Pagoda

 

The historic pagoda with a great sight on one of Ho Chi Minh City’s busiest streets.

 

 

 

The Vietnamese National Pagoda (Việt Nam Quốc Tự) is located on February 3rd Boulevard, District 10 of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. (It is situated at the corner of Le Hong Phong and February 3rd Streets.) This street is lined with old green trees and usually is filled with passengers and vehicles.

 

 

History:

 

After the South Vietnamese Coup in 1963, the Unified Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam was founded when President Ngo Dinh Diem was deposed by Army of the Republic of Vietnam officers. The new government of the Republic of Vietnam also leased 4 hectares of land to the Buddhist Sangha for 99 years, the rental price was only VND 1.
The pagoda was designed by Ngo Viet Thu – the famous architect of Saigon, who also designed the Independence Palace. The foundation stone-laying ceremony was held on 26th April 1964 at 8:00 AM. The builders planned to build a seven-story stupa with upward curved roofs and delicate carved decors and buildings in Vietnamese traditional styles and harmony with nature on a 45,000 m land. However, only the constructions of the stupa and rooms for monks were started but have not been completed.
In 1967, the Phuong Nam Institute of Buddhism was established and Quach Thi Trang Orphanage also was founded in the precincts of this pagoda.

 

 

The new government got back a large majority of the land after Independence Day 1975. It made the total area of the pagoda remains 3,000 m2. The government built an amusement center and Hoa Binh Theater on the pagoda grounds between 1975 and 1985.
In 1988, Buddhist monk Tu Nhon sent a form to the government and asked for the ownership of the remaining land around the stupa. On 28th February 1993, the government agreed to give back the 3,712 m2 land and the original stupa.
In 1993, the pagoda was restored and more items were completed.
On 31st October 2015, Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam called to prayer and cast a statue of Buddha which is 7.5 m high and 35 tons weigh. The statue is the biggest bronze statue in Vietnam, and it is placed in the Main Hall now.

 

 

On 12th October 2014, the construction of the new pagoda was started. On 7th November 2017, the Viet Nam Quoc Tu was inaugurated solemnly. The cost of the construction and restoration was VND 250 billion. The restoration of the Main Hall costs VND 180 billion. Ho Chi Minh City acquired the land with a total area of 7,200 m2 for the purpose of pagoda’s construction projects. Until the end of 2019, the land area of the pagoda is 11,000 m2.
The 13-story stupa with a height of 63 m was started to be built on 3rd August 2015 and was completed at the end of 2018. The 8,000 m3 basement used as a parking lot for visitors, the ground floor functioning as a hall, the second floor functioning as offices were completed.
Now, Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda is the headquarters of the Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam (the former headquarters was Xa Loi Pagoda).
On 23rd May 2019, Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc’s relics, including bones and unburnt heart and set of Phap Hoa prayer books attaching his secret journey were moved from Quan Am Pagoda to Vietnamese National Pagoda.

 

The pagoda’s structure:

 

In the initial situation,this pagoda is seven stories tall, and is full of colorful, oversized statues of religious figures. On the first and fifteenth of the month, the pagoda opens up its third and seventh floors to the public. On other days, the second floor is accessible; it features a shrine made up of miniature Buddhas floating against a cloudy sky mural.

 

 

The Vietnamese National Pagoda has two gates with the main gate is on Ba Thang Hai Street, and the other side gate is on Le Hong Phong Street.
The main gate has 3 entrances and 4 pillars. On the 4 stone pillars were 4 Vietnamese sentences:

 

“Mở Cửa Từ Bi Đón Tiếp Mười Phương Du Khách”
“Hộ Quốc An Dân Mang Lại Văn Minh Toàn Đất Việt”
“Tốt Đời Đẹp Đạo Tiến Lên Phong Phú Khắp Trời Nam”
“Bước Lên Bảo Tháp Thiêng Liêng Thắng Cảnh Quy Y”

 

On top of the far left and right pillars are two lion statues as two mighty guards. The red signboard on which written the name of VIỆT NAM QUỐC TỰ is hung on the middle entrance.
Three red curved roofs are decorated with red dragon and phoenix ornaments at the eaves and on the top. There is a yellow dharma wheel on the top of the middle roof. The gates are painted golden and have countless lotus flowers.

 

 

The Main Hall has a total area of more than 2,000 m2 and a capacity for 1,500 people. As mentioned above, the bronze Buddha Statue in the Main Hall is Vietnam’s biggest bronze statue, it was made right at the current place by sculptors and workers from Y Yen District, Nam Dinh Province. The Buddha statue, including the lotus, is 7.5 m and 35 tons weigh. It is placed in front of a carved wooden panel with a cloud pattern. In front of the huge statue are 7 wooden statues of Buddha posture. Besides the statues of Buddha, the pair of candles with a diameter of 40 cm and delicate dragon decorations impress visitors. On two sides of the hall are worshiped 18 Arahats, on the corridor of the main hall there are two Vajrapani. The splendid ceiling is a perfect mix of golden lotus flowers and modern lighting system.

 

 

On the yard in front of the Main Hall there are two steeples where to hang a bell and place a drum. Made in a traditional bell making village in Thua Thien – Hue Province, the bell is 2.9 m high, 1.6 m wide and 3 tons weigh. It is decorated with lots of Vietnamese traditional and Buddhist patterns including lotus petals and the text “Việt Nam Quốc Tự”. The wooden pillars and roof frames blend perfectly with the wrought iron fence with golden lotus flowers, buds and leaves.

 

 

 

The 13-story Stupa of this pagoda talls 63 meters, has the 6 tons bronze stupa cast in a bronze casting village in Y Yen District, Nam Dinh Province.
It has 13 floors because it was built to commemorate the protest held by Vietnamese Buddhists and monks against religious inequality in 1963. The 13-story stupa represents the union of 13 Buddhist organizations, societies, and branches participating in the protest in 1963.

 

 

A standing Kuan Yin Statue is placed on a pedestal in a lotus flower shape in the precincts of this pagoda.

 

 

The reception room has a 730 m2 hall with a capacity for 1,000 people on the ground floor. The corridor has a capacity for 3,000 people. The reception room is also located on the ground floor.
This most significant pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City is made up of all of these elements.

 

In SEENSIO:

With its two entry gates, main hall, 13-story stupa, and standing Kuan Yin Statue, the Vietnamese National Pagoda in SEENSIO platform has been faithfully recreated.
And on the SEENSIO platform’s stimulation map, it can also be found on the corner of Le Hong Phong Street and February 3rd Street.

 

 

In 3D space, this location in SEENSIO will also become known as the HCM City of Buddhism in Vietnam. The most sought-after destination for Buddhist enthusiasts in the virtual reality world is the Vietnamese National Pagoda’s main hall, a 13-story stupa, and the Kuan Yin statue.

 

 

The Vietnamese National Pagoda, which provides exquisite Buddhist architecture and has distinctive structures of its own, will draw more tourists both in person and on the SEENSIO platform.

 

     

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