HCM City and neighboring provinces have a number of ancient temples with unique architecture and special statues. Each statue at these pagodas has its own story, and cultural and spiritual value. VietNamNet would like to introduce some of them. The first is Hoi Khanh pagoda.
Hoi Khanh pagoda in Thu Dau Mot City of Binh Duong Province was built in 1741. It was originally a small leaf temple built by Zen master Dai Ngan on a hill in Binh An village. After a period of time, it was upgraded to be the current pagoda.
In 1860, the pagoda was burned down by the French colonialists. It was then rebuilt at the foot of the hill, about 100m from the old position.
The most attractive point of Hoi Khanh pagoda is the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni entering Nirvana of 52m long, 22m high, and 600 tons in weight.
Underneath the giant statue are 20 reliefs showing the life of the Buddha from his birth to his Parinirvana. Around the statue is decorated with 840 lotus petals covered with cement.
In May 2013, the giant statue was recognized by the Asian Record Organization as the longest Buddha statue on the roof of a temple in Asia.
The pagoda is also home to a set of the Eighteen Arhats statues here, which are the works of famous craftsmen in Thu Dau Mot in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Hoi Khanh Pagoda owns another treasure related to President Ho Chi Minh's father. It is a pair of parallel writings written by Nguyen Sinh Sac for the 6th abbot of the temple.
According to Venerable Thich Hue Thong, in late 1923, as being tracked by French secret agents, Mr. Nguyen Sinh Sac, moved from Gia Dinh, (HCM City) to Thu Dau Mot province, now Thu Dau Mot city, Binh Duong province. He joined two others to found the "Patriotic Honor Society", which gathered many local patriots. In 1926, this society was discovered and disbanded by the French colonialists.
During his short time living at the pagoda, Nguyen Sinh Sac presented a couplet for Hoi Khanh pagoda’s Venerable Tu Van.
The couplets handwritten by Nguyen Sinh Sac are still hung on the worship grounds of Nguyen Sinh Sac and President Ho Chi Minh at the pagoda.