15th Anniversary of One Pillar Pagoda in Thai Province Marked

This replica of Hanoi's iconic pagoda was built by Khon Kaen's Vietnamese community, a symbol of the Vietnam-Thailand friendship in the locality.

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15th Anniversary of One Pillar Pagoda in Khon Kaen Province Marked
One Pillar Pagoda in Khon Kaen province – symbol of Vietnam-Thailand friendship. Photo: VNA

A ceremony of was held in Thailand’s Khon Kaen province on March 18 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the One Pillar Pagoda, a symbol of the Vietnam-Thailand friendship in the locality, VNA reported.

The event was co-organised by local authorities, the Vietnamese Consulate General and the association of Thai people of Vietnamese origin in the province.

Attending the ceremony were Deputy Governor of Khon Kaen Chanchai Sornsrivichai, Consul General of Vietnam in Khon Kaen Chu Duc Dung, representatives of the All-Thai Vietnamese Association, Khon Kaen Thai Association of Vietnamese Thais, and representatives of the diplomatic corps. provincial government, and many expatriates.

The pagoda was built in the Thailand-Vietnam Friendship Park in Khon Kaen per wish of overseas Vietnamese, and has become an attractive tourist destination, according to President of the association Dang Thi Gai.

The project to embellish the ground and build a lotus pond around the One Pillar Pagoda in Thailand is replica of Hanoi’s iconic pagoda, the referendum was held in Khon Kaen province and received the support of 100% of the people. “We hope that the project will be approved and completed soon so that we can welcome visitors from all over the world visit the pagoda in the new beautiful and spacious campus in 2024,” she added.

15th Anniversary of One Pillar Pagoda in Khon Kaen Province Marked
The One Pillar Pagoda in Khon Kaen province. Photo: VNA

Consul General Chu Duc Dung briefed the participants on the original One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, recognized by the Asia Book of Records for its unique architecture.

Also known as Dien Huu Tu (Pagoda of Permanent Blessings) or Lien Hoa Dai (Lotus Tower), One Pillar Pagoda (or Chua Mot Cot in Vietnamese) is located on the street named Chua Mot Cot in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.

Built according to the actual size of a temple in Vietnam and completed on March 14, 2008, the One Pillar Pagoda in Khon Kaen province shows the friendship and affection of the two peoples of Vietnam and Thailand. During the past 15 years, the One Pillar Pagoda in Khon Kaen is not only a spiritual destination for local people but also a tourist attraction for visitors to enjoy and contemplate the unique cultural features of Vietnamese temples in Thailand.

He is very pleased that the provincial government is promoting the synchronous completion of the One Pillar Pagoda ground to be worthy of a special and famous relic in Vietnam to create the attraction and sacredness of the unique temple.

Khon Kaen’s Deputy Governor Chanchai Sornsriwichai stressed that the pagoda is not only a spiritual highlight of local residents but also an attractive tourist site.

Currently, the local authorities and the Consulate General are implementing a project to upgrade the park with a total investment of about THB 5 million (USD 147,000), which is expected to be completed in 2024.

15th Anniversary of One Pillar Pagoda in Khon Kaen Province Marked
The funky architecture of One Pillar Pagoda or Dien Huu Tu in Hanoi. Photo: Mottogo

The One Pillar Pagoda was built in 1049, under the reign of King Ly Thai Tong. According to folklore, once in his dream, the childless king saw Phat Ba Quan Am or the Goddess of Mercy sitting on a lotus throne with radiant halo around her head and handing him a baby son.

Ly Thai Tong (1000 -1054) then married a peasant woman he met, and she bore him a son. In the advice of a monk named Thien Tue, and in gratitude to the goddess, the king built a pagoda on a stone pillar, which resembled the lotus throne of his dream.

In 1105, under the reign of King Ly Nhan Tong (1072-1127), the pagoda was renovated, while two white porcelain-roofed towers were built in the front yard.

The structure of the current One Pillar Pagoda includes the pillar, the lotus tower and the roof. Two stone posts were piled to form a vertical pillar with a height of four meters, excluding the underwater part. The pillar’s diameter is 1.2 meter wide, so it looks as firm as a rock.

On top of it, the Lotus Tower has a square shape with three-meter-long sides, surrounded by railings and supported by minor wooden pillars above large wooden beams that are firmly attached to the stone pillar. The tower inside is decorated splendidly.

There is an altar lacquered in gold and crimson with cloud motifs, on top of which sits a gilded statue of the thousand-eyed and thousand-armed Goddess of Mercy. Surrounding the statue are many worshiping objects: a pair of ceramic feng shui wealth vases, lotus vases, a set of teapot and cups, and a bronze incense burner. Above the statue hangs a small crimson horizontal inscribed board with three golden words ‘Lien Hoa Dai’.

15th Anniversary of One Pillar Pagoda in Khon Kaen Province Marked
One Pillar Pagoda in the old days. Source: Vietnamnet

The roof of the tower is covered with traditional dragon-scale tiles that have become mossy over time. The four eaves were curved upwards like sword blades pointing towards the sky. On top of the roof is the image of two dragons looking towards the moon, a typical architectural feature of Vietnamese pagodas, temples, shrines and communal houses.

The two dragons lie with their tails towards each other, but they bend their bodies to turn their heads towards the moon in the middle. The dragon pair represents yang, while the moon represents yin. The sum is the number three, which symbolizes fertility – that’s why people often burn three incense sticks at a time. This is an image imbued with humanity in Vietnamese spiritual architecture.

In 1962, the architectural complex in Hanoi was recognized as a National Historic and Architectural Relic. In 2012, One Pillar Pagoda was honored by the Asia Book of Records as a pagoda with a unique architecture in Asia.

Alongside the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda is now a familiar symbol of the capital, appearing in many books, newspapers and even educational programs. In Ho Chi Minh City, there is also a version of the One Pillar Pagoda, built in Thu Duc District in 1958.

Hannah Nguyen