Two pagodas with national records in HCMC’s new Thu Duc City

By Quynh Tran    February 14, 2021 | 10:15 am GMT+7
Minh Dang Quang Buddhist Institute and Van Duc Pagoda, notable for the many records they hold, are sacred places worthy of a visit in HCMC's newly-established Thu Duc City.
Minh Dang Quang Buddhist Institute at 505 Hanoi Highway, An Phu Ward, District 2, was established in 1968 by the Venerable Minh Dang Quang, founder of the Vietnamese Mendicant Buddhist Sect.  It was later built into a complex with a central pagoda and four multistory towers of impressive height on a 37,000-square-meter plot of land.  In May 2019 the institute was recognized by Vietnam Records as having the country’s four biggest stupas, the largest Buddhist worshiping wooden main hall, the largest place ever to hold the great ceremony to commemorate 60 years since the disappearance of Patriarch Minh Dang Quang, and the largest venue for alms-round (??) event.

Minh Dang Quang Buddhist Institute at 505 Hanoi Highway in Thu Duc was established in 1968 by Venerable Minh Dang Quang, founder of the Vietnamese Mendicant Buddhist Sect.
It was later built into a complex with a central pagoda and four multi-story towers on a 37,000-square-meter plot of land.
In May 2019 the institute was recognized by Vietnam Records as having the country’s four biggest stupas, the largest Buddhist worshiping wooden main hall, the largest place ever to hold the great ceremony to commemorate 60 years since the disappearance of Patriarch Minh Dang Quang, and the largest venue for an alms-round event. The alms round is an important tradition in Buddhism, involving blessings for both giver and receiver.

The pagoda consists of four 40-meter towers with symmetrical design to commemorate Buddhist monks and the sect’s founders. Some of the floors serve as reading rooms or store Buddhist scriptures.

The pagoda consists of four 40-meter towers with symmetrical design to commemorate Buddhist monks and the sect’s founders. Some of the floors serve as reading rooms or store Buddhist scriptures.

Its curved roofs are adorned with stylized lotus flowers and Falun wheels.

Its curved roofs are adorned with stylized lotus flowers and Falun wheels.

The central hall has a wooden interior with relief sculptures.  A Sakyamuni Buddha statue soaring 7.2 meters and weighing 7.2 tons is enshrined in a 13-meter wooden tower in the middle of the sanctum.

The central hall has a wooden interior with relief sculptures. A Sakyamuni Buddha statue soaring 7.2 meters and weighing 7.2 tons is enshrined in a 13-meter wooden tower in the middle of the sanctum.

Behind the towers are the old halls of the institute. They are small but mark the start of the Minh Dang Quang Buddhist Institute and the Mendicant order in the south.

Behind the towers are the old halls of the institute. They are small but mark the start of the Minh Dang Quang Buddhist Institute and the Mendicant Order in the south.

There is a large garden with trees, bonsai and idols made of various materials.

There is a large garden with trees, bonsai and idols made of different materials.

Van Duc Pagoda at 502 To Ngoc Van Street, Tam Phu Ward, Thu Duc City, was built in 1954. In 2004 its main and ancestral halls underwent major reconstruction.  After two years of renovation, the 43.5-meter main hall is recognized as the tallest by the Vientam Record Book.

Van Duc Pagoda at 502 To Ngoc Van Street in Thu Duc was built in 1954. In 2004 its main and ancestral halls underwent major reconstruction. After two years of renovation, the 43.5-meter main hall is recognized as the tallest by the Vietnam Record Book.

The tower has a nine-story structure with a lotus flower on top. Its upward curve with gold-colored decorations harmonizes perfectly with it green-glazed roof tiles.

The tower has a nine-story structure with a lotus flower on top. Its upward curve with gold-colored decorations harmonizes perfectly with it green-glazed roof tiles.

In the front are a Buddha statue on a lotus pedestal and dragons embellishing the façade...

In the front are a Buddha statue on a lotus pedestal and dragons embellishing the facade.

Inside the spacious hall is the biggest Bodhi Tree relief sculpture in Vietnam depicting the River Niranjana with the Buddha at the center meditating under the ‘tree of awakening.’

Inside the spacious hall is the biggest Bodhi Tree relief sculpture in Vietnam depicting the River Niranjana with the Buddha at the center meditating under the ‘tree of awakening.’

The arch-shaped, 40-meter-high ceiling with white clouds in bas relief in a blue sky completes the three dimensions.

The arch-shaped, 40-meter-high ceiling with white clouds in bas relief in a blue sky completes the three dimensions.

The 15-meter marble Buddha statue at the entrance facing a small lotus temple to the Bodhisattva basks under the Saigon sunshine.

The 15-meter marble Buddha statue at the entrance facing a small lotus temple to the Bodhisattva basks under the sunshine.
Thu Duc city was formed on January 1, 2021 by merging three eastern districts – 2, 9 and Thu Duc. Authorities aim to build it into a locomotive for Ho Chi Minh City's development. The new city, which spreads 211 square kilometers and houses more than a million people, is expected to contribute 30 percent of the city’s economic growth and 7 percent for the nation's per year.

 
 
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