VietNamNet Bridge – Hanoi authorities and experts have held four meetings to discuss ways to restore the One-pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot) but they have yet to reach a final decision.  

Seriously degraded images of the One Pillar Pagoda


One-pillar pagoda was recognised as one of Asia’s most unique pieces of architecture.


The fourth meeting, held on May 15, attracted the attention of hundreds of people, including a number experts and scientists.

The pagoda has been in state of serious deterioration for many years. During the rainy season, statues within the building can often be seen wearing raincoats, while nuns and monks collect rain water in buckets. Some areas of the complex are prone to regular flooding.

At the last meeting to repair the pagoda, however, a number of varied ideas were condoned, and they were often at odds with each other.

Hoang Trong Cuong, an architect from the pagoda’s consulting and design agency, said damaged items of Tam Quang and the worship areas should be the first to be repaired. He also proposed upgrading the stairs and re-building the housing for monks. He said this should cost around VND31 billion and would result in the most unique pagoda in Asia.

Professor Tran Lam Bien opposed rebuilding the monks' quarters, saying that putting monks' quarters before the worship area would go against the religious principles the pagoda represents. He said that restoration should be based on the idea of protecting and preserving the original features, adding that any restoration work should be careful not to change the pagoda's characteristics.


Venerable Thich Tam Kien.


The professor recommended building areas for burning votive papers so as to stop this activity in the yards. He added that the stalls and service areas should also be rearranged.

The Venerable Thich Tam Kien admitted the pagoda floods during heavy rains. He suggested replacing the concrete pillars with stone ones, but this opinion did not meet with much agreement. Some participants said that the current image of the pagoda had become very familiar and that any change had to conform to Ly Dynasty architecture.

At the end of the meeting, Do Viet Binh, Chairman of Ba Dinh District People’s Committee, said there could not yet be any solution on restoration of the pagoda. The committee will complete its restoration plans for submission to the local Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism before June 30.

Source: DTriNews