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Ten Buddhist pagodas, relics listed in national record books

Update: May, 08/2006 - 00:00

Ten Buddhist pagodas, relics listed in national record books

(08-05-2006)

Visitors at Yen Tu Pagoda in the north-eastern province of Quang Ninh. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dan

HCM CITY — Buddhist pagodas in the northern region have set ten records in The Viet Nam Guinness Book Centre (Vietbooks), which made the announcement at a ceremony held in HCM City on Thursday. Built in the 3rd century, the Phap Van (Dau) Pagoda in Thuan Thanh District, northern Bac Ninh Province, 30km from Ha Noi, is recognised as the most ancient sanctum in Viet Nam.

Bac Ninh Province is also home to two other masterpieces:

Viet Nam’s largest stone Buddha statue, which stands 3m high and dates back to the 7th-10th century (the Ly dynasty) at the Van Phuc Pagoda in Tien Du District; the largest wooden Avalokitesvara Boddhisattva (Kuan Yin – Goddess of mercy) statue with a thousand hands and eyes sculpted in 1656 and located at the But Thap Pagoda.

The highest and heaviest bronze Sakyamuni Buddha, which is 100 tonnes in weight and 10m in height, is located at Trang An cultural relic site in Ninh Binh Province; and the oldest Kuan Yin statue with a thousand hands and eyes made during the Mac Dynasty (16th century) is housed at the Thanh An Pagoda in Ha Noi.

The Mot Cot Pagoda (one pillar pagoda), which was built on a 4m high pillar with a diameter of 1.2m in 1049 in Ha Noi, is recognised to be the most architecturally unique.

The Sung Nghiem (Mia) Pagoda built in the Tran Dynasty (13th-14th century) in Ha Noi’s neighbouring Ha Tay Province has the biggest collection of statues with 287 statues for worship, 174 of them are terracotta.

The country’s largest bell, which is 4.2 m high and weighs 9 tonnes, was cast in 1936 and currently is located at the Co Le Pagoda, northern Nam Dinh Province; while the oldest bell, made in 798, is kept in Ha Tay Province’s museum.

The last one is the biggest Buddhist ball with a diameter of 1.59 m and a weight of 6.5 tonnes made from a ruby stone and located at the Lan Pagoda (Truc Lam-Yen Tu Meditation School) in northern Quang Ninh Province. Also at the ceremony, which included a music programme to mark Buddha’s birthday in the 2550th year of the Buddhist calendar, the Giac Ngo (Enlightenment) newspaper presented prizes of a contest on Buddhist Dharma (Visions of young clergies). —VNS

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