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Monday, July 15, 2024

Exploring Vam Ray Pagoda in Tra Vinh

By Henry Duong

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Renowned for its timeless charm, grand and resplendent architecture akin to a royal palace, Vam Ray Pagoda stands as both a source of local pride for Tra Vinh residents and a prominent gem in the Mekong Delta’s tourist offerings.

Nestled within Vam Ray Hamlet, Ham Tan Commune, Tra Cu District, Tra Vinh Province, Vam Ray Pagoda emerges from the remnants of a 600-year-old structure, which endured wartime destruction. Despite its tumultuous history, the pagoda steadfastly retains the hallmarks of Theravada Buddhism.

The meticulous craftsmanship is evident in every intricate detail

The sheer beauty and opulence of the pagoda captivate visitors upon their very first glance. Gleaming gold envelops Vam Ray Pagoda, adorning domes, walls, pillars, relief sculptures, and Buddha statues alike. Right from its entrance, the intricate artistry is evident, as multistoried towers gracefully intermingle with the surrounding greenery, forging a setting of magnificence and grandeur. The main hall of the pagoda features four entrances, with the principal gateway facing east in accordance with Khmer tradition—a symbolic homage to the Buddhist journey from west to east.

A distinctive highlight of Vam Ray Pagoda is the reclining statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, stretching an impressive 54 meters in length, 20 meters in height, and 16 meters in width. Resting in the southeastern part of the main hall on a platform reminiscent of a two-story house, the statue bears meticulous carvings and glistening gold embellishments. This statue marks the largest Shakyamuni Buddha in southwestern Vietnam.

Vam Ray Pagoda significantly enriches Tra Vinh Province’s cultural and spiritual tourism offerings. The pagoda grounds are adorned with lush greenery, creating a refreshing ambiance that makes it an inviting destination throughout the year. For those who venture within its golden halls, the experience of being enveloped in a radiant palace is indelibly memorable.

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