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Buu Long pagoda, known as Thien Vien To Dinh Buu Long, is only some 20km away from the Ho Chi Minh City's downtown. It was built in 1943 and was later restored within 5 years starting from 2007. The US_based National Geographic Magazine in 2009 named Buu Long pagoda a top 20 most excellent Buddhist architectures pagodas in the world.
To date, the pagoda retains its position on the list.
According to VNE, Buu Long pagoda follows the Theravada Buddhism - the oldest and most orthodox of Buddhism's three major sects - and has the typical architecture of Thai and Indian pagodas combined with Nguyen Dynasty's architectures, creating a unique beauty.
The Gotama Cetiya Stupa, which covers an area of over 2,000-meter square, is hailed as the highlight of the temple.
Gotama Cetiya, the "stupa masterpiece" in Vietnam is bound to give you a memorable experience. The largest stupa in Vietnam has five towers which come in different shapes and sizes, the main tower at the center of the stupa is the biggest and highest one (7 floors).
The back of Gotama Cetiya Stupa is designed with symmetrical architecture, in harmony with the front.
|Gotama Cetiya, the "stupa masterpiece" in Vietnam (Photo: VNE)|
The stupa is 70 m high, built in the Funan culture, dedicated to worshipping the Buddha and Noble Sangha relics.
Boasting a magnificent and modern architecture, still, the famous Gotama Cetiya tower brings ancient characteristics of Suvannabhumi civilization in Southeast Asia.
The remaining four small towers underneath are all made of copper, golden in color, from which the tickling sound of wind chimes travels for a far distance.
Gotama Cetiya Stupa opens for visitors twice a day, 8 am-10 am and 2 pm-4 pm every day.
A yellow Buddha statue can be spotted right in the middle of the two main sides of Gotama Cetiya stupa. The temple only worships one Buddha as part of the religious rituals of Theravada Buddhism and does not do the incense offering like most other Buddhist temples and pagodas do.
On the two sides of the stupa are two small towers in which bells, guest rooms are placed. In the middle is a semicircular lake spanning for an area of 280-meter square, with a dragon-shaped fountain at the center and green trees surrounds.
Buddha, lotus, bodhi leaf, dharma wheel, etc., are patterned throughout the temple space.
Dragon and crane statues sophisticatedly made of stones are scattered around the pagoda. Dragon and crane statues are common images in Asian pagodas and temples.
The main hall of the temple is spacious and airy. It can accommodate thousands of pagoda goers at the same time. More than 10 monks are currently practicing in the pagoda.
There are many doors leading to the corridor outside of the main stupa hall. Standing on the highest floor of the tower, one can take in their eyes the entire Saigon's suburban, Dong Nai river, etc.
Buu Long pagoda has usually attracted a number of local and foreign visitors.
"I'm from Binh Duong province, about 40km away from the pagoda. I take advantage of the holiday to pay a visit here. Buu Long pagoda is truly the definition of beauty, architecture and holiness. The place excites me every time I'm here", Nguyen Ngoc Tram Anh, 26, told VNE on her second visit to Buu Long pagoda.
A bird-eye view of Buu Long pagoda. The pagoda campus is over 11 hectares, located on a hill surrounded by green forest, overlooking the banks of Dong Nai river.
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