100-year-old One Pillar Pagoda adorns Bien Hoa

By Quynh Tran    October 31, 2019 | 10:34 am GMT+7

Buu Son Pagoda in the capital of Dong Nai Province, built in the 18th century, has just one pillar holding up its roof.

Buu Son Pagoda in Hoa Binh Ward, Bien Hoa Town, was built at first with bamboo walls and wooden columns. The 100 square meter sanctum has an octagonal roof that represents the eight-fold path to free oneself from suffering, according to Buddhism.

Buu Son Pagoda in Hoa Binh Ward, Bien Hoa Town, was built at first with bamboo walls and wooden columns. The 100 square meter sanctum has an octagonal roof that represents the eight-fold path to free oneself from suffering, according to Buddhism.

After two major renovations in 1937 and 1965 during which all the roof trusses were rebuilt and connected at one center pillar, locals started to call it the One Pillar Pagoda.It is structurally different from Hanoi’s One Pillar Pagoda, where one main outdoor pillar carries the entire pagodas weight. Buu Son Pagoda has one wooden pillar in the middle of the sanctum, surrounded by Buddha idols placed based on the northern doctrines.

After two major renovations in 1937 and 1965 during which all the roof trusses were rebuilt and connected at one center pillar, locals started to call it the One Pillar Pagoda.

It is structurally different from Hanoi’s One Pillar Pagoda, where one main outdoor pillar carries the entire pagoda's weight. Buu Son Pagoda has one wooden pillar in the middle of the sanctum, surrounded by Buddha idols placed based on the northern doctrines.

In the middle is a sitting Vishnu idol made of stone by the Cham ethnic people around the 15th century. This Vishnu idol, 1.5 m high and weighing nearly one ton, was found in a nearby tree hollow and brought to the pagoda. Since then it has also been called the Four Handed Buddha Pagoda.

In the middle is a sitting Vishnu idol made of stone by the Cham ethnic people around the 15th century. This Vishnu idol, 1.5 m high and weighing nearly one ton, was found in a nearby tree hollow and brought to the pagoda. Since then it has also been called the Four Handed Buddha Pagoda.

Below the main altar is another with five of the 10 Kings of Hell, a Bodhisattva and a Life Taking Judge.

Below the main altar is another with five of the 10 Kings of Hell, a Bodhisattva and a Life Taking Judge.

The One Pillar Pagoda also accepts the ashes of deceased people, and family members can come and pray every once in a while.

The One Pillar Pagoda also accepts the ashes of deceased people, and family members can come and pray every once in a while.

An idol of the 1,000-eyed, 1,000-armed Avalokitesvara sitting on a lotus in the pagodas courtyard.

An idol of the 1,000-eyed, 1,000-armed Avalokitesvara sitting on a lotus in the pagoda's courtyard.

In the yard is also a small altar to worship Avalokitesvara, and a three-meter tall stupa where ashes of deceased chief monks are kept.

In the yard is also a small altar to worship Avalokitesvara, and a three-meter tall stupa where ashes of deceased chief monks are kept.

An elephant and four white flamingos adorn the pagoda roof, indicating that the power of consciousness is protecting the pagoda.

An elephant and four white flamingos adorn the pagoda roof, indicating that the power of consciousness is protecting the pagoda.

After several restorations, Buu Son Pagoda is now a modern structure spread over 1,000 square meters in the middle of Bien Hoa Town.

After several restorations, Buu Son Pagoda is now a modern structure spread over 1,000 square meters in the middle of Bien Hoa Town.

 
 
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