Uncover the Secrets of Vam Ray – 600-Year-Old Khmer Pagoda in Tra Vinh, Vietnam

The 600-year-old Vam Ray Pagoda, located in Tra Cu district, Tra Vinh province, has been restored to its original glory, preserving the ancient and traditional features of Khmer Theravada Buddhism despite its destruction during a time of war.

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Vam Ray is widely recognized as the largest Theravada Buddhist temple in Vietnam, boasting a history of over 600 years in the Southwest region. With its ancient beauty that has withstood the test of time, this pagoda holds many mysterious spiritual stories.

Vam Ray Pagoda welcomes visitors and young tourists year-round with its cool and temperate weather. Featuring the distinctive Angkor architectural style, it stands out among pagodas in the Mekong River Delta. The pagoda’s main gate faces east, following the tradition of Khmer pagodas.

Explore Vam Ray - The 600-Year-Old Khmer Pagoda In Tra Vinh

Currently, Vam Ray Pagoda is considered one of the most beautiful and largest Khmer pagodas in Tra Vinh.

The pagoda’s exterior resembles a magnificent palace with its brilliant gold paint and eye-catching Tam Quan pagoda gate. The gate’s ancient and mysterious design adds to its beauty.

In the middle of Vam Ray Pagoda, stands a tall pillar supported by columns shaped like Naga God Snakes, used for burning candles during festivals. This pillar symbolizes the Buddha Dharma enlightening humanity.

Explore Vam Ray - The 600-Year-Old Khmer Pagoda In Tra Vinh

In Buddhist culture, the Naga God Snake appeared to help Buddha and protect pagodas. In front of the Buddha Temple, three small gates with tower-shaped tops can be found.

The pagoda’s main hall has four gates, with the main gate facing east according to Khmer tradition, symbolizing the beginnings of the Buddha’s spiritual path.

Explore Vam Ray - The 600-Year-Old Khmer Pagoda In Tra Vinh

The pillars outside the main hall are built in the ancient architectural style of Co Ranh, featuring the image of the god Krud at the top, with both hands raised to support the roof of the temple.

A notable feature of Vam Ray Pagoda is the 54m-long, 20m-high, and 16m-wide statue of Buddha Shakyamuni entering nirvana in the southeast direction of the main hall. This statue, covered in gold paint, adds reverence and splendor to the pagoda.

Explore Vam Ray - The 600-Year-Old Khmer Pagoda In Tra Vinh

Vam Ray Pagoda attracts monks, nuns, and Theravada Buddhists from near and far, especially during major Khmer holidays. It is also a popular tourist destination to learn about Khmer culture, pilgrimage, and worship.

The main hall is adorned with colorful Khmer cultural murals depicting Buddha’s life and teachings. A large Buddha image and three smaller Buddha images create a dignified atmosphere in the middle of the hall.

Explore Vam Ray - The 600-Year-Old Khmer Pagoda In Tra Vinh

Charlotte Pho