A Saigon pagoda that’s a ceramic wonderland

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A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderlandThe Giac Vien Pagoda in Saigon, dating back 60 years, hosts a remarkable ceramic tribute to the Buddha.A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderland

Located on Bui Thi Xuan Street in Tan Binh District, the Vien Giac Pagoda was built in 1955. The pagoda was initially a small temple, but since 2001, several large-scale works have been commissioned.

A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderlandThe Giac Vien Pagoda in Saigon, dating back 60 years, hosts a remarkable ceramic tribute to the Buddha.A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderland - 1

The most remarkable of these is the Dang Quang Tower, built in 1996. The 22 meters tall tower took three years to build. The Vien Giac Pagoda has been recognized by Vietnam Record Center as the pagoda with the tallest ceramic tower in Vietnam.

A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderlandThe Giac Vien Pagoda in Saigon, dating back 60 years, hosts a remarkable ceramic tribute to the Buddha.A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderland - 2

The three-storey tower, brilliant with its yellow, deep green and deep red ceramic tiles, has a seven-layered room. The roofs are decorated with images of carps becoming dragons.

The tower is used to worship Śarīra, a term referring to a Buddhist relic. In the basement, the ashes and earthly possessions of previous abbots of the pagoda are stored.

A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderlandThe Giac Vien Pagoda in Saigon, dating back 60 years, hosts a remarkable ceramic tribute to the Buddha.A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderland - 3

The first floor is decorated with lotus images in white ceramic. On the four doors, the images of the eight Kim Cang gods, protectors of the pagoda, are carved on four doors of the tower. Entrance to the tower is restricted.

A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderlandThe Giac Vien Pagoda in Saigon, dating back 60 years, hosts a remarkable ceramic tribute to the Buddha.A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderland - 4

The ceramic tiles on the tower depict the Eighteen Arhats.

A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderlandThe Giac Vien Pagoda in Saigon, dating back 60 years, hosts a remarkable ceramic tribute to the Buddha.A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderland - 5

The main hall of the pagoda is quite large. While it was built recently, the hall retains traditional architectural features with a system of columns and bars to support the roof, a  typical feature of old Vietnamese houses.

A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderlandThe Giac Vien Pagoda in Saigon, dating back 60 years, hosts a remarkable ceramic tribute to the Buddha.A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderland - 6

Inside the main hall, a large statue of the serene Amitabha Buddha on the lotus evokes devotion in the hearts of the Buddhists. On two sides are statues of the arhats.

A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderlandThe Giac Vien Pagoda in Saigon, dating back 60 years, hosts a remarkable ceramic tribute to the Buddha.A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderland - 7

The temple corridor is decorated with a line of white, sophisticated sculptures of nghe, a Vietnamese mythical animal that is a combination of a lion and a dog.

A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderlandThe Giac Vien Pagoda in Saigon, dating back 60 years, hosts a remarkable ceramic tribute to the Buddha.A Saigon pagoda thats a ceramic wonderland - 8

Beneath the main hall is the lecture hall. On the two sides of the lecture hall are the East hall and West hall where the monks rest or meet their guests.