Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Viet Nam has 2 pagodas named Vinh Nghiem which literally means Ever Solemn, one in the North, the other in the South. Both famous pagodas leave an unforgettable impression in the heart of visitors. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is one of the oldest, most beautiful and sacred pagods in Ho Chi Minh City. On 30th July 2015, the Prime Minister of United of Kingdom David Cameron visited and offered Buddha with incenses.

General information

Location: 339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ward 14, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. CLICK HERE to see the location of the pagoda on Google Maps. The pagoda is located less 4 km from Ben Thanh Market.

Opening hours: Main gate: 7:00 – 19:00; Main hall: 7:00 – 11:00; 13:30 – 16:45 daily.

Website: http://vinhnghiemvn.com

Email: dongbon@yahoo.com

Phone: +84 283848 3153

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is usually decorated beautifully at festivals

The beautiful Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, decorated with lines of colorful lanterns and five color flags.

History

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda was started to build in 1964 and finished in 1971 under the lead of the two Superior Buddhist Monks: Thich Tam Giac and Thich Thanh Kiem who are from North Vietnam. They wanted to build the Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City so that it is similar to Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Duc La Village, Tri Yen Commune, Yen Dung District, Bac Giang Province. They had the famous architect Nguyen Ba Lang design the pagoda.

The 6,000 m2 land on which the pagoda was built was low so that they moved 40,000 m3 of soil from Ha Noi highway to level the ground. The construction of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda costs 98 million of Vietnamese Dong, donated by Buddhist monks.

In 1972, the constructions of Buddha Hall (Phật điện), Guanyin Tower (Bảo tháp Quán Thế Âm) and society activity rooms were completed. In 1982, Public Relic Tower Bảo tháp Xá Lợi Cộng Đồng was finished. After that, they built Abbot Hall (Phương Trượng Đường) and Reception hall (Khách Đường). In 2003, Stone Tower (Tháp Đá) was built.

The solemn grand opening and 44 years anniversary celebration at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

The solemn grand opening and 44 years anniversary celebration at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City in 2016

Architecture

The modern and traditional Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is one of the typical pagodas of Vietnamese Buddhist architecture style in the 20th century. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda mainly has the architectural style of Vietnamese ancient oriental temples. The design includes three-arched-entrances gate, bell tower, curving roof and traditional decorations. However, it is more spacious, refreshingly airy and brighter than old Vietnamese pagodas. The architectural style of the pagoda is similar to ancient pagoda architectural style in Bac Giang, Vietnam, but with modern building construction techniques and materials.

The pagoda has a three-door gate, seven-story bell tower, main building, statue of Guanyin and parking lot in the front yard, vegetarian restaurant, public relic tower, rest in peace house, rooms for monks.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

The view of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda from the other side of Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street: Guanyin tower, main gate, concrete fence and lots of green trees.

Main Gate

The large three-door gate was built according to the traditional style with red tiles and an upward curving roof. The gate was supported by four square pillars. Each entrance has one or two delicate wrought iron gates with lotus flower, two pillars, two roofs with red clay tiles and dragon ornaments at the eaves. On two middle pillars are written “Tới Cổng Từ Bi Chiêm Bái Tổ Đình Nơi Đất Bắc” (Arrive at merciful gate, bow the ancestors in the North), “Vào Chùa Giải Thoát Hoằng Ơn Đức Phật Pháp Tại Miền Nam” (Enter pagoda, escape from normal life, be grateful to Buddha in the South). On the main entrance is written the pagoda’s name in Vietnamese “CHÙA VĨNH NGHIÊM”.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

The main gate has three entrances, each entrance has two red tiled roofs with curved eaves and dragon ornament at the eaves.

In 2005, the city implemented a project to expand Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, the gate of the pagoda was moved inwards, to the present location. The 120 tons gate was moved by Mr. Nguyen Cam Luy –  an expert on moving buildings in Vietnam.

Nguyen Cam Luy moved the gate of Vinh Nghiem Pagod successfully in 2005

Nguyen Cam Luy moved the gate of Vinh Nghiem Pagod successfully in 2005

doves eating and sunbathing, birds for releasing, lotus flowers, jasmines garlands, incense sticks, candles for offering Buddha

At the gate, visitors can see a peaceful scece of lovely white, black, green, brow, gray doves eating and sunbathing. A few vendors sell birds for releasing, lotus flowers, jasmine garlands, incense sticks, candles for offering Buddha.

Guanyin Tower

The tower has seven floors and a height of nearly 40 m. The square shaped cross section of the tower has four 6-m sides. This is one of the biggest towers in Vietnamese pagodas. At the top of the tower are nine round wheels and sphere which are called “Long xa” (Dragon wheel) and “Quy châu” (Turtle pearl). Each floor has red tiles, phoenix ornaments at curved eaves, Buddha and lotus flower ornaments on the walls.

 Guanyin towe - Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

The tall Guanyin tower that has seven floors and seven curved eaves is the highlight of the pagoda

Vinh Nghiem Stone Tower

On the right of the yard, visitors can see a 14-m seven-story stone tower where Superior Buddhist Monk Thich Thanh Kiem is worshipped. The tower was named Vinh Nghiem, inaugurated in December 2003. Made by 20-30-year-old artists in well-known Thuong, He, Xuan Vu Stone Villages, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh, this is the first stone tower in South Vietnam and tallest stone tower in Vietnam. It also has the largest number of carvings in the country.

The tower was made from black blue stones in Thanh Hoa, most of which were mined in the famous Nhoi mountain. The total weight of the tower is 180 tons. Each upward curving roof is made from a 6-10 ton stone.

Each floor is carved from a whole stone. The cross section is in a square shape with sides of 5 m. The tower is placed on an octagonal pedestal. There are a pair of dragons, twenty seven pairs of small dragons and phoenixes, countless lotus petals, lotus flowers, waves, Bodhi leaves, bats, paralleling sentences on the tower and the fence. On the first floor, visitors can see seal script character which means longevity in Ly Dynasty style and other carvings and decorations in Tran Dynasty style.

The pedestal and tower are surrounded by a stone fence with sides of 9.5 m. Two carved stone dragons on two sides of the staircase have burly bodies, billowing muscles, curved horns, heads held high.

Vinh Nghiem Stone Tower Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

Vinh Nghiem Stone Tower – the biggest stone tower with the largest carvings in Vietnam

Main Building

The main building or central building has a L shape and two floors. Three wide and high staircases, each of which has twenty three steps, lead to a spacious rooftop and the Buddha Hall.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

The delicate Guanyin statue in front of the main building.

Ground floor

The ground floor is divided into two areas: the 4.2 m area under the Buddha Hall and the 3.2 m area in the opposite of the stone tower. The ground floor has many rooms functioning as ancestral house, office, monk room, classroom, lecture hall, restaurant.

tore sells Buddhist books, prayer books, meditation supplies and souvenirs at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

A store sells Buddhist books, prayer books, meditation supplies and souvenirs.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

Vinh Nghiem vegetarian restaurant and Vinh Nghiem garden office on the ground floor.

Rooftop

Three wide and high staircases lead to a spacious rooftop with a width of 10 m and the Main Hall (also called Buddha Hall or Phật Điện). There is a steeple with the bell, presented by Japanese Buddhism during the Vietnam War.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

Buddha statue, two towers and a incense burner in the middle of the rooftop

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

The steeple and the bell presented by Japanese Buddhism at the corner of the rooftop

Buddha Hall

Buddha Hall has two upward curving roofs with dharma wheel in the middle and phoenix ornaments at the eaves. Pillars and roof frames are made of iron and reinforced concrete. Pillars, walls and roofs are decorated with nice ornaments, most of which are delicately carved wood artworks. Impressive carved wood artworks include carved wood four sacred animals and nine dragons.

In front of the entrances are placed two Bodhisattvas Vajrapani. Buddha Hall consists of three halls inside: Bow Hall (Bái Điện or Front Hall), Buu Hall (Bửu Điện, Bản Điện, Middle Hall, Main Hall) and Ksitigarbha Hall (Địa Tạng Đường or Back Hall), forming the character – 工 (Công).

Bow Hall is a large hall, with a length of 35 m, a width of 22 m and a height of 15 m. The statue of Cundi with 9 heads, 18 arms and 18 eyes is worshiped in this area. The two big candles and beautiful carved wood decors impress visitors.

On the main altar in Buu Hall are worshipped Gautama Buddha sitting in meditation. A standing statue of Bodhisattva Manjushri is put on the left and a standing statue of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra is put on the right of Gautama Buddha. The three statues form the Shakyamuni trinity in Buddhism. In front of Buddha, there is a small statue of Kuan-Yin of a Thousand Arms and Eyes.

In Ksitigarbha Hall, on the altars are worshipped Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc, Hung King, the former President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang, Nguyen Cao Ky – Vice President Public of Vietnam.

On the walls, there are statues of Rahula and Ananda – two great disciples of Buddha and pictures depicting Arahat.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

Two Bodhisattvas Vajrapani on the left and right of the front corridor.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

The carved wooden doors with lotus flower patterns and lotus glass and the wall carving on the facade of the pagoda.

Bái Điện at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

Bái Điện or Bow Hall is decorated splendidly with ceiling lights, golden and black pillars and boards on which written many black Chinese characters, carved wood decors with apricot blossom, phoenix and dragon patterns. The two big brown candles with dragon and cloud patterns, three smaller candles and an incense burner impress visitors.

Statue of Cundi with a thousand of arms and a thousand of heads at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

Statue of Cundi with a thousand of arms and a thousand of heads is worshiped on the altar in Bái Điện Hall.

Bửu Điện, Main Hall or Middle Hall at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

Bửu Điện, Main Hall or Middle Hall houses a big altar on which Bodhisattva Manjushri, Gautama Buddha, Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (from left to right) are worshiped. Towers of offerings including soft drinks, cakes, packages of coffee and tea and lots of flowers such as lilies, orchids,  are abundant at the halls.

Statues of Bodhisattva Manjushri at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

Bodhisattva Manjushri standing on the left of Gautama Buddha in Buu Hall, a small statue of Kuan-Yin of a Thousand Arms and Eyes in front of Gautama Buddha, statues of Rahula and Ananda along the walls of Main Hall.

Arahat enjoying charity and donations 1, Arahat enjoying charity and donations 2, Arahat on salvation of the coldest hell, Arahat on salvation of the arms hell as a mountain of spears, Arahat on preaching of the Buddha Dhamma, Aharat on exhortation of studies.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

Ksitigarbha Hall or Địa Tạng Điện is more mysterious than the two other halls because Three Holy Mothers (Tam Thánh Mẫu), Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc, Hung King, President Tran Dai Quang, Vice President Public of Vietnam Nguyen Cao Ky, Buddhist monks and many other high-ranking officers are worshiped here. Offerings including cakes, drinks, fruits, the smell of flowers and the smoke of incenses make the hall warm and cozy.

Public Relic Tower (Bảo Tháp Xá Lợi Cộng Đồng)

Started to build in 1982 and completed in 1984, Public Sarsi Tower has four floors and a height of 25 m. Two staircases lead to the first floor of the building with a unique design. In front of the tower is put a statue of a Buddha with a khakkhara on his hand.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

Abbot Hall (Phương Trượng Đường)

Abbot Hall is located on two side and behind the main building, there is also a lotus pond and a lovely green fruit and flower garden. The hall is used as Rest in Peace House, rooms for guests and Buddhist monks.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

The lovely garden with green areca palms, pomelo trees, vines, Zamioculcadoideae, viper’s bowstring hemp, roses, bougainvillea flowers, etc.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

Location: 290/21A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ward 7, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. The restaurant is also called Viet Chay Restaurant, it is situated in the garden of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda.

Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00

Prices: VND 40.000 – 165.000

Vinh Nghiem Restaurant

Vinh Nghiem Restaurant is decorated with fabric lanterns and furnished with wooden dining tables and chairs.

Vegetarian Fried Rice

Vegetarian Fried Rice with carrots, beans, lotus seeds, tofu

Buddhist Art Gallery

Location: 382 B-D-E-F-G Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ward 7, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. The gallery is located opposite Vinh Nghiem Pagoda’s main gate.

Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00

Buddhist Art Gallery Nghệ Thuật Phật Giáo Diệu Tường Am

Nghệ Thuật Phật Giáo Diệu Tướng Am Buddhist Art Gallery displays and sell statues, artworks, home decors, souvenirs, meditation tools and many others.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda at night

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda at night, Guanyin is illuminated with a lighting system

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda at night looks majestic, Guanyin is illuminated with a lighting system

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City

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