Giac Lam Pagoda -symbol of Southern Vietnam architecture
Giac Lam Pagoda is one the earliest built pagoda in Gia Dinh- Saigon that still exists today. In 1744, the pagoda was built by Ly Thuy Long layman. Over hundreds of years, the temple has many different names such as: Cam Son pagoda, Son Can pagoda, etc. Nowadays, Giac Lam pagoda is located at 118 Lac Long Quan street, 10 ward, Tan Binh district, Ho Chi Minh city.
The architectural style of Giac Lam pagoda is considered the symbol of Southern architecture and built with model of “三” word; main chamber of pagoda is the style of a traditional folk house with one room, 2 attics and 4 pillars. The original pagoda did not have Tam Quan gate that was built in 1955. The rectangular pagoda includes 3 main rooms: the main ceremonial hall, the dharma preaching hall and the meal hall, notwithstanding the other accessory rooms and buildings. The main ceremonial hall is quite large and deep with big pillars carved gridded parallel sentences.
The whole pagoda has 38 towers that was built early nineteenth century, has existed nearly 200 years with sophisticated construction techniques. the art style on the towers gathers cultural flows between the ethnic communities living in the southern area as Khmer, Vietnamese, Cham , etc. and part of western elements (France), the East ( China, India).
The pagoda retains 118 statues (106 wooden statues, 7 bronze statues, 5 cement statues), in which has 113 ancient statues. The main altar is dominated by a statue of Amitabha Buddha. In front of Amitabha is a row of five seated figures: they are Sakyamuni Buddha and the four principal bodhisattvas: Samantabhadra, Manjusri, Avalokiteshvara, and Mahasthamaprapta. They form a group that is typical for Mahayanist pagodas of southern Vietnam.
Giac Lam Pagoda is the place containing many valuable materials in terms of history, culture, architecture and religious art sculpture. On the spring, the pagoda welcomes thousands of pilgrims and international tourists to worship Buddhist reverence and admire the ancient majesty of the temple.
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