|Tây Phương Pagoda will be developed into a national tourism atraction. Photo thegioidisan.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Tây Phương Pagoda, a national special relic site in Thạch Thất District, has been recognised as a national tourist attraction.
The decision has been signed by Vice Chairman of Hà Nội People's Committee Nguyễn Mạnh Quyền.
The City People's Committee has assigned the Culture, Information and Sports Centre of the district to manage, exploit and develop the tourism site in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Tourism and related legal documents.
Located 40km north west of Hà Nội centre, Tây Phương Pagoda was built around the eighth century and is the second oldest pagoda in Việt Nam after Dâu Pagoda in the northern province of Bắc Ninh. It is the combination of three pagodas, Hạ, Trung and Thượng.
Besides its original architecture, Tây Phương Pagoda is well known for being home to unique works of ancient Vietnamese Buddhist sculptures including carvings and statues.
|Tây Phương Pagoda is home to unique works of ancient Vietnamese Buddhist sculptures. — Photo anninhthudo.vn|
Among 64 statues, 18 Arhats date back nearly 300 years. The most impressive is the statue of Guanyin Buddha with one thousand eyes and one thousand hands.
The pagoda was listed as a national special heritage site in 2014. A year later, a collection of more than 70 Buddha and Arhats statues were recognised as national treasures.
Tây Phương Pagoda underwent many restorations prior to the Tây Sơn Dynasty (1778-1802), after which the pagoda has maintained its shape and architecture.
However, the national special relic site has suffered from severe degradation over time and is at risk of collapse, which could damage the centuries-old statues inside.
According to Cấn Việt Hùng, Deputy Director of Thạch Thất District Cultural Information and Sports Centre, the city's Department of Culture and Sports is assigned to work with the locality to submit a restoration plan to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for approval.
The project has an estimated budget of VNĐ150 billion (US$6.56 million) to wholly repair the pagoda, preserving ancient features.
If the plan is approved, work will start in 2023 and is expected to be finished by 2025. VNS