On Sunday, the inauguration ceremony for the Maitreya Buddha statue took place, led by Most Venerable Thich Niem Thoi, head of the provincial Buddhist Executive Committee. Officials from the government committee for religious affairs, representatives of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, officials from the provincial administration, and thousands of Buddhists and visitors from across Vietnam also attended the event.
With its grand scale, the Maitreya Buddha statue is among the largest statues of its kind worldwide. It is constructed from 6,688 sandstone pieces and weighs 5,112 metric tons.
|A stunning view of part of southern Vietnam’s Tay Ninh Province seen from the Maitreya Buddha statue on the peak of Ba Den Mountain. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre
Located at an altitude of over 900 meters from the mountain foot, the statue covers a surface area of 4,651 square meters. It stands 36 meters tall and is 45 meters wide at its maximum point.
The statue is seated and surrounded by a system of fountains, with its front facing east to welcome the sunrise.
The key features of the statue include a compassionate smile and a large belly, which are characteristic of the Maitreya Buddha.
During the ceremony, Most Venerable Elder Vien Minh, Deputy Supreme Patriarch of the Patronage Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, emphasized the significance of the Maitreya Buddha statue.
He highlighted that the statue represents qualities such as kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
According to Vien Minh, the Maiterya Buddha is viewed as the Buddha of the future and symbolizes the prosperity and well-being of the country’s future.
|Visitors enjoy a scenic tour of the Maitreya Buddha statue located on Ba Den Mountain in Tay Ninh Province using a cable car system. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre
Vo Duc Trong, deputy chairman of the provincial administration, commended Sun Group, the Da Nang City-based conglomerate and creator of the Maitreya Buddha statue, for their contribution to the Tay Ninh tourism sector.
He shared that the statue, one of the largest sandstone statues in the world, has become a new symbol that elevates the prestige of Tay Ninh in the realm of tourism.
Trong stated, “We hope that the Maitreya Buddha statue will bring about significant progress for local tourism, transforming Tay Ninh – a land with a rich history, culture, and religious heritage – into a captivating pilgrimage destination that attracts both domestic and international visitors.”
The inauguration ceremony featured various solemn Buddhist rituals. Additionally, over 20,000 colorful lanterns, bearing wishes handwritten by Buddhists and tourists, will be illuminated on the mountaintop to celebrate the unveiling of the statue.
|The Maitreya Buddha statue located on Ba Den Mountain in Tay Ninh Province can be seen from its side. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre
The area surrounding the statue offers a breathtaking landscape and features state-of-the-art fountain systems and modern lighting technology, creating a captivating and enchanting atmosphere.
Following the ceremony, thousands of visitors embarked on sightseeing tours of the statue area by utilizing the cable car system at the Ba Den Mountain Tourist Area.
On the previous day, the Ho Chi Minh City Buddhist Sangha’s charity board and the tourist area management board collaborated to distribute 500 Tet (Lunar New Year) gifts to underprivileged families living in communes and wards near the mountain.
|The Maitreya Buddha statue is surrounded by a fountain system that, combined with advanced lighting, creates a breathtaking scene. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre