The most fun things to do in Saigon can be found everywhere, yet getting to know a hidden sight of a city beside many other mainstream Saigon group tours that even not many local Saigonese have caught the sound of is definitely a challenge. This article now brings you to a totally less-visited Buddhist temple on the outskirt of Saigon, a pagoda that bears an exact appearance as the iconic One-pillar pagoda in the Northern capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ in Thủ Đức District, Saigon gradually spreads a huge sensation.
Saigon’s Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ
The history behind the new One-pillar Pagoda
Chùa Một Cột is an official term that is used to refer to an ancient pagoda in Thăng Long (former Hanoi), which basically illustrates a Buddhist temple construction featured only one single pillar amid. Chùa Một Cột appeared in the XI century during the Lý Dynasty. Chùa Một Cột was made out of the precious ironwood, whilst its Saigon edition used concrete as a modern material. Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ is located on Đặng Văn Bi Street, Thủ Đức District.
Chùa Một Cột in Hanoi
Just like the initial One-pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ showcases Buddhism’s Mahayana schooling, one of the two main Buddhism branches along with Theravada. The pagoda lies in the middle of Dragon Eye Lake, right behind the Three-door gate and covers an area of 600 square meters. The Dagon Eye Lake is packed with lotus, iconic flower of Buddhism and fish. In the year 1958, 4 years after Vietnam was split in two, the Northern Vietnamese community in Saigon was holding a strong memory recalling their own Hanoi’s Pagoda, which then caused an intense desire to know in Saigonese mindset. As a consequence of the war, Vietnam then became the two countries and Southern fellows could not make it to Hanoi for a visit. Therefore, Monk Thích Trí Dũng and his Buddhist clergies decided to make a version of Chùa Một Cột for the South. Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ was then brought to life officially in 1977 and that is how Southern Vietnamese got their own One-pillar pagoda as of now. A regular Saigon tour will probably not take you there, yet a customized package can definitely do.
Hanoi One-pillar pagoda before 1945
On the surface of the Dragon Eye Lake, Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ delivers an image of a huge emerging lotus flower that bears greatly delicate patterns which helps any of the visitors get rid of their daily burden. More specifically, the surrounding scenery enclosing the whole complex will be expected to chase your all stress away.
Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ
A few steps further from Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ lead you to the main hall where a precious gem-casted statue of Stratum Bodhisattva that weighs 61 kilograms is worshipped, alongside with giant Amita Buddha and Gautama Buddha statues. With such beauty, Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ welcomes millions of Buddhists and visitors each year. After construction, this Saigon’s One-pillar Pagoda has witnessed several renovations. The temple’s campus covers a one-hectare area.
What is the best way to visit Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ?
You can totally come to see the site on your own with a help of a local bus if departing from downtown. However, it may cause you a little trouble if there is no native companion around and language barrier seems to be a breakdown, if not to say you totally have no idea when and where to get off the bus. Hence, feel free to request a customized Saigon day tour, with a knowledgeable guide available to give you the best insight.
The city is filled with daily Saigon group tours that are always ready to show you every single corner of Saigon that you can think of, and Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ is definitely one of them. This Southern metropolis is getting more and more popular on Worldwide travel map, which means it is time to seek for a whole new tourist attraction that only the locals know.