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Two pagodas selected among top 20 most beautiful

Released at: 08:12, 31/07/2019

Two pagodas selected among top 20 most beautiful

Tran Quoc Pagoda. Photo: National Geographic

Hanoi and HCMC pagodas praised for stunning architecture in National Geographic magazine.

by Le Diem

Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi and Buu Long Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City have been selected among the world’s top 20 most beautiful Buddhist pagodas in a vote by National Geographic magazine.

Located on a small peninsula on the eastern banks of West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest in the capital, at 1,500 years old. It was the Buddhist center of Thang Long Citadel during the Ly and Tran Dynasties.

The pagoda’s eleven-story red tower is topped by a nine-story gemstone lotus, National Geographic wrote. Gold and bronze statues clutter altars throughout the temple, and three different female Buddhas, called “Mothers”, can be found in the pagoda’s front courtyard.

The tower was built parallel to a Bodhi tree, which is meant to convey that Buddhism is pure and gracious like the lotus tree, growing quietly but strongly with a pleasant, fresh fragrance. Buddhism is like a lotus - never polluted and always beautiful and fresh despite environmental conditions. The Bodhi tree also represents the enlightenment and wisdom of Buddha as well as humanitarianism.

With its historical and architectural values, Tran Quoc Pagoda attracts many Buddhists and visitors from Vietnam and abroad every day. It was also listed among the top 10 incredibly beautiful pagodas in the world by UK travel website Wanderlust earlier this year.

Buu Long Pagoda. (Photo: National Geographic)

Meanwhile, located on an area of over 11ha at the Ethnic Culture Historical Park in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City, the riverfront Buu Long Pagoda was praised for features such as carved dragons curving down the temple stairs and a turquoise pool reflecting the temple’s white walls and golden spires. Its ultimate Gotama Cetiya Stupa houses famous relics, including tiny beads of pearl and crystal that are said to appear in the cremated remains of the most enlightened Buddhist teachers.

Buu Long Pagoda is an idiosyncratic hodgepodge of pan-Southeast Asian architecture. Built in 1942, the temple complex incorporates sacral forms seldom found in Vietnam, influenced by Buddhist architecture from Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Surrounded by a thick, shady grove, the site is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City and a tranquil getaway for meditation.

The other 18 most beautiful Buddhist temples as voted in National Geographic are Bagan (Myanmar), Wat Benchamabophit (Thailand), Seiganto-ji (Japan), Wat Rong Khun (Thailand), Paro Taktsang (Bhutan), Taung Kalat (Myanmar), Wat Xieng Thong (Laos), Buddhist and Taoist Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong (China), Kye Gompa (India), Mahabodhi (India), Byodo-In (Hawaii), Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Gyeongbokgung Palace (South Korea), Datsan Gunzechoinei (Russia), Gangtey Monastery (Bhutan), Kopan Monastery (Nepal), Borobudur (Indonesia), and Thean Hou (Malaysia).

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