Dai Tong Lam Pagoda (Full name is Van Phat Quang Dai Tong Lam Pagoda) located in Quang Phu Hamlet, Tan Thanh District, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province is one of the most famous pagodas in Vietnam. The pagoda has a very large space (100 ha) and has so many green trees, bonsais, and flowers. The pagoda has so many records in the country and being place attracting so many tourists. Coming Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, it is a pity if we do not visit here.
From the outside looking into, we see the three-arched-entrances gate. It is designed according to traditional oriental temple architectural style – roofs covered tiles and bent. In the middle has word line: “Vạn Phật Quang Đại Tòng Lâm”. Van Phat Quang Dai Tung Lam has 2 Buddha’s Temple: the small one and the big one.
Stepping into the gate, we see small Buddha’s Temple built in 1958 and restored in 1982 having the area of 112m2 (The width of 7m, the length of 16m). In front of the pagoda has the statue of Avalokiteśvara. The temple has 2 compartments: the compartment for worshipping Buddha and compartment for worshipping progenitors. The first compartment has the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha sitting on the lotus and in front of has Baby Buddha. On the left is the statue of Avalokiteśvara and on the left is the statue of Kṣitigarbha. Next to the door, on the left is the statue of Dharmapala and on the right is fierceness God. The second compartment is the altar of Bodhidharma. Behind the pagoda has the tomb tower of Superior Buddhist Monk Thich Thien Hoa, who founded Dai Tong Lam Pagoda.
Opposite the gate is Da Bao Tower with 3 floors, is built in 1983. The upper floor worships Shakyamuni Buddha (Middle), Bodhisattva Manjushri (left) and the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (right), Ānanda and Mahakashyapa (2 great disciples of Buddha). The Lower floor worships Maitreya and 4 Dharma Toweralas.
On the right of Da Bao Tower is Luandinmbini Garden where Buddha was born and Sarnath Garden where Buddha taught humans after he had got to enlighten. On the left of Da Bao Tower is the Statue of Buddha going into Nirvana lying on a lotus. The statue has a canopy and in the front has welcome gate. Dai Tong Lam has the outdoor aesthetic value statue – Avalokiteśvara statues standing on the head of the dragon with the height of 17m.
In front of the Big Buddha’s Temple is a statue of Maitreya. The statue is made from the monolith granite took from Mountain Cam Ranh (Khanh Hoa). The statue is 40 tons heavy, 5.1 m high and finished in 2002. The statue was predicated record by Vietnamese record book Center on 31-5-2007 – The statue of Maitreya made from the monolith granite the biggest in Vietnam. Beside the statue of Maitreya, there are 48 statues of Amitābha made from granite including Amitābha statue with the height 18m.
The big Buddha’s Temple has 2 floors, the length of 91m, the width of 46m and was held to built by Superior Buddhist Monk Thich Quang Hien in 2002 according to the design of Architect Le Quang Man. The second floor of Buddha’s Temple has 9 statues made from granite, consisting of Shakyamuni Buddha, Bodhisattva Manjushri and Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, Amitābha, Avalokiteśvara, Mahasthamaprapta, 2 Dharmapalas, and Bodhidharma.
Around walls is designed 10,000 small statues of Buddhas, each statue having the width of 0.25m and the height of 0,30m. The big Buddha’s Temple was predicated record by Vietnamese Record Book Center on 02-01-2006: The biggest Buddha temple in Vietnam and on 31-5-2007: The pagoda having the most statues in Vietnam.
In the campus of the pagoda, there is Dai Tung Lam Buddhist School finished in 1995, being able to contain 1,000 people. Every year, Dai Tong Lam Pagoda is the place organizing the Retreat Season Course for the monks in the Province. Each year, the pagoda welcomes ten thousands of people from everywhere coming for sightseeing. The pagoda has the place so that tourists take a rest and the restaurant serves to eat and eating. Especially, there is the place making vegetarian pancakes very delicious.
With large space, green tree garden, and many Buddha statues, we will feel as going into Buddha’s world. My heart will be lighter and calmer after fhe days are in the busy environment of the town. Traveling to Ba Ria – Vung Tau, you should spend time visit this special place.