Ha Noi’s old Buddhist pagodas receive national heritage certificates
Update: Apr 24, 2015
Traditional festivals opened on April 23 at two ancient Buddhist pagodas in the west of Ha Noi ─ Tay Phuong and Thay ─ received certificates recognising them as special national heritage sites.

Tay Phuong Pagoda

The Tay Phuong Pagoda, located in Thach That District, is famous for its architecture and elaborate carvings typical of the 18th century, notably a collection of more than 70 Buddha statues which have been recognised as national treasures.

Among the sculptures, each of which features a distinct posture and facial expression, the Tuyet Son and La Hau La Da are considered one of the best statues of Vietnamese sculpture.

Legend has it that the Tay Phuong Pagoda was built when Viet Nam was dominated by China’s Tang dynasty and rebuilt in 1554, followed by many renovations in the subsequent centuries.

The Thay Pagoda, located in Quoc Oai District, was built in the Ly dynasty on the foot of the Sai Son mountain.

It houses a national treasure, the trinity statues of the Amitabha Buddha, flanked by two Bodhisattvas representing wisdom and compassion in Pureland Buddhism. The statues are considered the sculptural pinnacle of the flourishing period of Buddhism in Viet Nam.

The ancient pagoda also houses many other valuable artefacts, such as the lotus-shaped stone pedestals which researchers say date back to the Ly or Tran dynasties.

Besides traditional religious rituals, the Thay Pagoda festival features water puppet shows in a lake in front of the main hall to honour the founder of this art, Zen master Tu Dao Hanh (1072-1116).