An Quang Pagoda is also known as To Dinh An Quang, located at 243 Su Van Hanh Street, Ward 9, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City. The pagoda was built in 1948 and for over 50 years, Thich Thien Hoa created the pagoda and led sentient beings. In spite of not being an ancient pagoda, it plays an important role in the Vietnam Buddhist Congregation. It has witnessed many important events in the ups and downs and development steps of Vietnamese Buddhism.
In 1948, the pagoda was built by Venerable Thich Tri Huu from Linh Ung Pagoda, Da Nang. At first, it was just a small Buddha roofed with leaves and named Ung Quang Tu. After that, he opened a dogma teaching class for young monks and Ung Quang Pagoda became a small school of Buddhism.
In 1950, Venerable Thich Thien Hoa was given the right to manage Ung Quang Pagoda. He built the main hall in the style of Tu Dam Pagoda in Hue. In 1951, the pagoda was renamed as An Quang. The pagoda built an additional row of ancestor house (1955), rebuilt the lecture hall (1959) and the main building was reconstructed (1966). Over the years, the pagoda has built more Sen Vang print house, Bo De incense workshop, library, publishing house.
An Quang Pagoda covers an area of about 2,300m2. The pagoda is designed by Architect Nguyen Huu Thien. The pagoda is a combination of architectural quintessence of Vietnam, India, China and Japan.
An Quang Pagoda has 2 gates. The pillar of the pagoda gate is 1.15m wide, 1.62m long, 5m high, and is covered with blue stone with square blocks. Above the pillar, there is a Falun symbol and a small tower, surrounded by four lions towards the four directions.
The main building is located in the middle of the campus of the pagoda. It consists of the ground floor and the first floor. The ground floor is used as the Headquarters of the Unified Buddhist Congregation of Vietnam from 1965 – 1980 and the Office of the City’s Buddhist Committee HCM from 1981 to 2000.
The first floor is the main hall (Vietnamese: chanh dien). In it, there is Shakyamuni statue made of cement in the meditation posture and solemnity. On the main walls are decorated with bas-reliefs talking about the life of the Buddha, adding to the ancient part. The front of the main hall has three wooden doors, with a domed structure with unique cloudy dragon patterns, creating a balanced beauty. Opposite the main building is the ancestor house. To the left of the house is the monks’ house.
In front of and on the right of the main building, there is a precious tower of 36 m high, 6 floors, with a harmonious architecture between Vietnam and Japan. The precious tower worships Amitabha Buddha, Ksitigarbha, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, śarīra. The rest worships the supreme patriarchs: Thich Tri Huu, Thich Thien Hoa, Thich Thien Hoa and martyrs. Opposite the precious tower is the cultural building and the guest house. This guest house was built in with a harmonious architecture between Japan and Vietnam.