Red Pagoda – Ancient sacred Pagoda with a picturesque design

Located in the central area, Red Pagoda is one of the well-known sacred works of the Red Flamboyant City. The Pagoda is located in Le Lai Street, deep into a small 40 meter long lane and surrounded by residential areas. The Pagoda is named Linh Do Tu, a sacred religious place gathering tourists. The Red Pagoda has been one of favorite places of tourists to visit, sightseeing and pray for peace, health, tranquility in mind, etc. Buddhist come to visit, sit on the benches, under the trees, listen to the sound of bells, the sound of musk in the faint scent of smoke, etc. seeking peace in their mind and finding tranquility among such hustle urban life. The Red Pagoda is not only impressed by its unique architecture but also attracts people by its dignified and rare serenity that is hard to find in other places.

From Le Lai Street to a small alley, you will see the solemn Red Pagoda gate with the typical red brick color of the ancient Pagoda.

The name Red Pagoda at a glance A long time ago, in a small mudflat, many drowned people were found, hence, they built a small temple to worship the Buddha in order to ask the Tathagata to save those drowned people’s souls. By 1288, when Hung Dao Vuong came to An Duong land area, surveying the location to confront the enemy, Hung Dao Vuong took people to take care of the pagoda, making a kitchen to cook food to feed people that made the kitchen always red. Since then, the pagoda has been named Red Pagoda. Because of that, after Tran Hung Dao passed away, residential people built up two more shrines at two sides of the Pagoda to worship Tran Hung Dao and his trusted generals, particularly Pham Ngu Lao Marshal.

The steps reaching to the main gate of the Pagoda are meticulously carved

At the Pagoda’s door there is a very big incense tree and shapes of dragons and phoenixes added to the gate make increased beauty of the Pagoda

The main altar is located on the second floor of the main hall, very majestic and superficial.

Bên trái của chùa thờ các vị phật La Hán cũng được thờ phụng chỉnh chu và đẹp mắt (Anh: Duy Khánh)

Later, the Pagoda was restored on a large scale and became a spacious construction as it is today. Despite being destroyed by war, the Pagoda is still an impressive work that reveals traditional features that makes people worship. The Red Pagoda was restored over time with an ever-expanding scale.

Such unique architecture of the Red Pagoda

The Pagoda owns such unique architecture unprecedented in the history of Vietnam’s Pagodas and pagodas architecture. The ancient designed work has 03 floors, 20 roofs, connecting the Front Hall – Middle Hall and the Harem that creates a harmony between the areas. The Red Pagoda has a length of 26 meters. Interior and exterior and roof of the Front Hall was designed with a 7-storey tower in a height of 5 meter, the tower’s bottom height of 1.2 meter, a lotus shape designed on the tower’s top, inside the lotus shape there is a flag pole in a height of 5 millimeter to hang on flag during festivals.

The entire Pagoda is paved with marble in green, red, and yellow colors within meticulously carved features.

Stairs to the second floor are made of ironwood carved with Van characteristic letters and the lotus buds symbolizing Buddhism.

outside the First Hall on the first floor, there are 04 stone pillars (in a diameter of 50 centimeter, a height of 4.2 meter) carved Dragons and Phoenixes in symmetry, in the middle of the poles are corridors made with stone carved “Tung-Truc-Cuc-Mai” expressed in symbol of transforming to Dragons, the bottom of the corridors get carved clouds and blooming lotuses to drawing out a huge lotus bud.

All the smallest decorative details are also delicately decorated with depicts.

The Pagoda’s ceiling is painted with gilded vermilion that increases nobility of the sacred Pagoda

The most valuable thing in the Red Pagoda is Statue of Buddha Tich Ca Mani made of jack-tree wood, in a height of 5.5 meter, located on a lotus bud shape of 2.9 meter height, 50 lotus petals are painted with gilded vermilion and delicately carved with patterns of Tran Dynasty, and it is located in the center of the First Hall that makes impossible for anyone to take off their attention. To be able to finish making such wooden-made biggest Buddha Statue in Vietnam, there were more than 10 excellent woodworkers using more than 20 cubic meter of jack-tree wood, 400 wooden pieces, 700 ironwood knots and working hard to accomplish the Statue in approximately 20 months. That shows that all things of the Pagoda are precious and respectful.

The Statue of Buddha Tich Ca Mani, made of jack-tree wood, has a height of 5.5 meter, seating on a lotus flower shape 2.9 high, and having 50 lotus petals painted with gilded vermilion and is delicately carved with patterns of the Tran Dynasty.

Big day of the Red Pagoda

As usual for many years, at 04:00 am of the 15th Lunar day of April, when noble drum bell rings, monks and Buddhists of Linh Do Pagoda (the Red Pagoda) solemnly and respectfully organize celebrating the birthday of Buddha Shakyamuni. Such big events as Vu Lan and Buddha’s Birthday are held on a professional scale that attracts a huge volume of Buddha followers and tourists across the country to join, that makes the ceremony more solemn, sacred and meaningful.

Venerable Thich Truong Xuan – Abbot of the Red Pagoda celebrates the ritual of Buddha Bathing

A large number of Buddhist followers return to attend the Buddha’s Birthday Celebration after 2 years occurring the pandemic

Hai Phong is a city rich in cultural identity that is revealed in different lenses and carries various values through each historical period. Restoration and value development of the Red Pagoda is an essential demand in a majority of the city’s dwellers’ daily life because it is a valuable culture relic in both material and spirit, satisfying desire to worshiping and praying for a good weather year in a spiritual place; expressing the “terrestrial spirit” area where are harmonized principles of heaven and earth, helping opening sources of pure vitality and bring out a sense of peace to soul. After hard working days, it is really wonderful to spend time with your family at the famous sacred Red Pagoda of Hai Phong./.

VŨ THỊ LOAN