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Indulging in magnificent beauty of Som Rong Pagoda with impressive architecture

November 10, 2020 | 15:20

When coming to Som Rong Pagoda, tourists and photographers usually consider it a favorite destination with the giant reclining Buddha statue.

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Patum Wongsa Som Rong, which often called as Som Rong Pagoda, is located at 367 Ton Duc Thang Street, Ward 5, southern Soc Trang Town. It can be traced back to around 1785 and was originally built with bamboo, wood and simple leaf roofing. It is the work of Khmer people, an ethnic group that resides in many parts of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

There are many local Som Rong trees around the area, which constitues the pagoda's name. It was routinely restored, features the reclining Buddha statue, a main hall, Sala, a monastery and stupa.

Indulging in magnificent beauty of Som Rong Pagoda with charming architecture
Photo: Vn Express

The main hall is used for worship with its roof decorated with details depicting the goddess Keynor and Krud, a bird god. On both sides of the entrance are statues of qilin, a mythical chimerical creature known in East Asian cultures.

These are photos in the collection named "Moon rising on Som Rong Pagoda" by Pham Huy Trung photographer (Ho Chi Minh City). He took them in the evening of October 30 (September 14th of lunar calendar) at sunset, on the occasion of going to Soc Trang to attend the "ghe ngo" festival - a boat racing and Oóc Om Boc festival of the Khmer people.

Indulging in magnificent beauty of Som Rong Pagoda with charming architecture
"Moonlight on Som Rong Pagoda" was shot by Pham Huy Trung from Ho Chi Minh City on the evening of October 30. Photo: Vn Express

In this photo, the reclining Buddha looks out towards the rising moon, the Sala and stupa. The latter features four directions and four paths representing benevolence, mercy, cheerfulness and indifference. Along both sides of the path leading to the stupa are details of Naga the serpent god and Khmer patterns. On the tower is a statue of Gautama Buddha meditating.

The moon rises above Sala, the solemn building was inaugurated on January 31, 2017. Its architecture bears both traditional Khmer pagoda, and modernity with unique color scheme, creating a unique highlight for Som Rong Pagoda.

Indulging in magnificent beauty of Som Rong Pagoda with charming architecture
Photo: Vn Express
Indulging in magnificent beauty of Som Rong Pagoda with charming architecture
Photo: Vn Express
Indulging in magnificent beauty of Som Rong Pagoda with charming architecture
The reclining Buddha commenced construction in October 2017 and is nearly done, with only the painting and decoration process left. Photo: Vn Express

Sala's function is a lecture hall and a place to receive guests in the traditional national festivals. It also hosts monks in the temple. Inside is a simple altar with murals depicting the life of Gautama Buddha.

The highlight of the temple is its reclining Buddha statue that is 63 m long, 22.5 m high and weighs 490 tons. It is currently one of the largest reclining Buddhas in Vietnam. It can be seen from hundreds of meters away. Like other Khmer temples in Soc Trang, Som Rong Pagoda is closely associated with the cultural, daily and spiritual life of the local community.

Indulging in magnificent beauty of Som Rong Pagoda with charming architecture
Trung said the first time he visited the temple, he was impressed by the reclining Buddha’s artistic value. Photo: Vn Express
Indulging in magnificent beauty of Som Rong Pagoda with charming architecture
The Buddha reclines magnificently in the 6 p.m. sunset. Photo: Vn Express

“Every day many tourists come here to visit and take pictures. The reclining Buddha, when completed, will create a beautiful and harmonious feeling at the pagoda, making it a famous place of worship for Buddhist believers and a well-known spiritual tourism spot in Soc Trang Province," Lam Binh Thanh, deputy abbot of Som Rong Pagoda said.

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