Viet Nam has 2 pagodas named Vinh Nghiem, one in North, the other in South. Both famous pagodas leave an Unforgettable impression in the heart of each tourist when coming to visit. Today we will discover Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City.
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City is located on a spacious campus, about 6000 m2, beside Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street. The architectural style of the pagoda similar with ancient pagoda architectural style in Bac Giang, Vietnam, but with modern techniques and building materials. This is one of the typical pagodas of Vietnamese Buddhist architecture in the 20th century in Vietnam. The overall structure consists of three-arched-entrances gate, the central building, and the towers.
From Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, looking at the pagoda, we see the three-arched-entrances gate. This is a rather large architecture built according to traditional style with red tile and carved roof. In 2005, the city implemented a project to expand Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, the gate of the pagoda was moved inside, to the present location.
Passing the gate, we see a large yard. On the left of the yard, we see the tower of Avalokiteśvara. The tower has the height of about 40 m and was divided into 7 floors, making a highlight of the pagoda. On the right of the yard, we see Vinh Nghiem Tower. The Tower is made from stone and has the height of 14 m. This is the tower worshiping Superior Buddhist Monk Thich Thanh Kiem – one of Superior Buddhist Monks has merit building Vinh Nghiem Pagoda. At the back of the yard, there is the statue of Avalokiteśvara.
Behind the statue is the center building. The center building has big, tall and spacious size. All are built of cement and steel. Especially the roofs are stuck with red tiles and bent.
The building consists of 2 floors. The first floor has 2 compartments: The outside compartment with the height of 3.20 m and the inside compartment with the height of 4.20 m. In the two compartments has an ancestor house, an office, a monk room and a classroom.
In front of the center building, there are 3 long large staircases. Going up the staircases, we see a large yard. The front of the yard, there is a statue of a Bodhisattva in the middle and a big bell on the right.
Passing the yard, we step up short staircases, go into the compartment for worshiping Buddha. In the middle of the compartment has the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. Two sides have the Bodhisattva Manjushri (left) and the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (right). Besides, we see a big pillar and ornaments carved skillfully.
Behind the compartment for worshiping Buddha is the compartment for worshiping ancestors. Going to the left we see the altar for worshiping people passed by. Above the altar has thousands of pictures of people passed by. On the right is also the altar for worshiping the people passed by, but only having some large pictures including the picture of Nguyen Cao Ky – Vice President Public of Vietnam before. In the middle of the compartment is the altar worshiping ancestors of Buddhism.
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda was started building in 1964 and finished in 1971 under the lead of the two Superior Buddhist Monks: Thich Tam Giac and Thich Thanh Kiem coming from North Vietnam. They wanted Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City now) similar to Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Bac Giang. They have Architect Nguyen Ba Lang draw the style.
There is a restaurant which serves delicious Vietnamese vegetarian foods in the area of the pagoda. I chose Fried rice with mixed vegetables to fill my stomach before leaving the pagoda.
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda mainly has the architectural style of ancient oriental temples. However, it looks higher and lighter. It is one of the typical pagodas of Vietnamese Buddhist architecture style in the 20th century. Coming to Ho Chi Minh City, it is a pity if you do not come to visit this place.