Ngoc Hoang Pagoda (Jade Emperor Pagoda) is located at 73 Mai Thi Luu, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The pagoda has an area of 2, 300 m2, was built in early the 20th century. This is an ancient pagoda and is rare pagoda in HCMC worshiping the Creator, whom oriental people call as Ngoc Hoang. This place was pleased to welcome U.S. President Barack Obama on May 24, 2016.
Ngoc Hoang Pagoda was built by Mr. Luu Nguyen from Guangdong, China in the early 20th century. Mr. Luu Nguyen is the person following Minh Su religion. Minh Su is a religion having the philosophy of all three religions: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Minh Su religion worships Ngoc Hoang. According to the conception of the eastern people, Ngoc Hoang is the creator of all species and owns all species. All species are brothers together. Therefore, all species should respect Ngoc Hoang and love each other. Besides worshiping Ngoc Hoang, Besides, Minh Su religion also worships some Buddha, fairies, saints, gods. They have duty helping Ngoc Hoang educate all species to become honest and gentle.
In 1982, Venerable Thich Vinh Khuong came to manage the pagoda. Since then this pagoda has belonged to the Vietnam Buddhist Association. In 1984, Ngoc Hoang Pagoda was renamed Phuoc Hai Pagoda. However, people still call Ngoc Hoang Pagoda.
Ngoc Hoang Pagoda campus is about 2,300 m2 large, with green trees, cool shades, fresh air. The pagoda Ngoc Hoang is an ancient temple, built in the style of a Chinese temple. From outside to inside, there are works: a 3-entrance gate, a small shrine, the main hall.
The 3-entrance especially has 2 winding dragon statues looking at a pearl very lively. The small shrine has Dharmapala statue (Dharmapala is a God who is responsible for protecting the pagoda for security.). The main hall is built of bricks and is roofed with yin and yang tiles. The top and the corners of the roof are decorated with many colored ceramic statues. There are many works of art in the temple: worship statues, worship paintings, pattern lines, parallel sentences … with materials: wood, pottery, and paper.
The worship statues describe Jade Emperor, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Mahasthamaprata Bodhisattva. Some familiar gods in eastern beliefs such as the god of money, the god of the land, the god of the kitchen, the god of the river water, etc. In addition, the temple also worships the god of the village. In general, the statues in the shrine are all beautiful wood sculptures.
On the afternoon of May 24, 2016, as soon as the plane landed at Tan Son Nhat, U.S. President Barack Obama came to visit the pagoda. The president was interested in the architectural features of this pagoda aged more than a century.