Tram Gian pagoda offers peace, collection of cherished treasures
Sound of a nation: Tram Gian Pagoda is accepted civic for its 600-year-old alarm tower.The alarm resounds from the Tram Gian (hundred compartment) Pagoda on a backward winter afternoon as I access through its giant, pillared aboideau into a ample brick yard.
At the end of the yard, a aisle fabricated of hundreds of brick stairs advance up to the angelic site, awash in the adumbration of centuries old ache trees.
Incense in hand, I feel decidedly peaceful and serene here.
I am in Tien Lu Village, alone 20km southwest from axial Ha Noi. The pagoda, founded in 1185 during the administration of King Ly Cao Tong, is aswell accepted as Quang Nghiem, Tien Lu or Nui and has undergone assorted forms of about-face and apology over time.
Holy baskets! A bounded woman sells rattan appurtenances at Tram Gian Pagoda.Worshippers at the pagoda pay admiration to Buddha and Saint Boi, accepted for accepting baffled Buddhism and for his abounding miracles.
Legend has it that during the Tran absolutism (1225-1400) in Boi Khe Village, a woman dreamt of the Buddha’s bearing afterwards which she herself fell abundant and bore a son. Nine years later, afterwards the deaths of his parents, the boy larboard home to abstraction Buddhism at the bounded Dai Bi Pagoda.
At 15, while visiting Tien Lu, he fell in adulation with the accustomed adorableness of the breadth and alleged on the arch abbot of a abundance pagoda to advise him sutras. Afterwards 10 years, the adolescent man baffled Buddhism and became famous.
Aware of his reputation, the Tran King arrive him to a pagoda in Thang Long Citadel and gave him the admirable name Duc Minh. Following the afterlife of the arch abbot at Tien Lu Pagoda, Duc Minh alternate to his apple and congenital a new one. At the age of 95, the abbot bound himself in a board chamber, adage good-bye to his aggregation and freed his soul.
Tantilising toys: To he (toy figurines) allure accouchement at the Tram Gian pagoda festival. (Photos: VNS)A 100 canicule later, his aggregation opened the chamber, award his ambrosial charcoal which afterwards preserved in a belfry (stupa) and admirable as that of Saint Boi.
Recognised as a civic actual antique by the ability ministry, the angelic abode has admiring bags of visitors every year acknowledgment to its aboriginal architectonics and adored collections.
“Local habitants generally accede four pillars acceptable in authoritative a compartment. Accordingly, the pagoda has a absolute of 104 rooms,” explains Nguyen Thi Chat, arch abbot of the pagoda.
The pagoda includes the Gia Ngu abode which overlooks a lotus pond and is acclimated to board the angelic barrow from which the baptize boob achievement is viewed. Its additional anatomy comprises dejected marble accomplish and a two-storey bell-tower, congenital in 1693.
“It is accepted as one of the oldest bell-towers in Viet Nam,” Chat said.
The belfry includes eight alluringly arced bend roofs and banisters on four abandon complete with billow and floral motives. Its columns are carved with intricate lotus shapes as able-bodied as copse panels in the shapes of dragons, flowers, leaves, clouds and the sky. Below the roof hangs a chestnut alarm casting in 1794. It is 1.4m in height, 0.6m in bore and includes a categorical composition by Phan Huy Ich.
After aggressive addition nine marble steps, carved with dragons on both sides, I accustomed at the capital temple area aroma smoke spiralled about the altars. In a agnate attitude to anybody else, I bound my calmly calm and prayed for affluence to acquisition my ancestors and me.
The pagoda preserves a accumulating of 153 Buddha statues, mostly of copse except for some fabricated of terra cotta and ceramics. The a lot of adored a allotment of them cover the Tuyet Son Buddha, carved out of atramentous jack-tree wood, and the bronze of Admiral Dang Tien Dong, a aggressive mandarin of the Tay Son anarchical troop who contributed to the advance of the pagoda afterwards his achievement adjoin Qing in 1789.
A bronze of Saint Boi is aswell preserved in a board room.
Other charcoal cover a rock dragon of the Tran absolutism fabricated as a banister, abounding Mac absolutism artery acclimated to body the Tam The statues (The Buddha of the Past, Present and Future) as able-bodied as paintings and bas-reliefs depicting animals and Arhats.
To admire Saint Boi, an anniversary anniversary is captivated at the pagoda on 4th-6th day of the aboriginal lunar month. Following Tet (Lunar New Year holidays), I abounding the anniversary with my family. Highlights included a advance of the Saint’s palanquin, a vegetarian affable challenge and abounding accepted folk amateur such as animal chess, angry and baptize puppetry.
“I cannot delay to appear the anniversary every year,” said Pham Thanh Hoa, a 20 year-old babe from the village.
“Sometimes I yield allotment in the affable contest. It’s so abundant fun. I achievement the anniversary will abide forever.”
Surrounded by the crowd, I adore hot blooming tea while alert to the candied melodies of folk songs appearing from the dragon baiter on the pond abreast the access gate.
My apperception has become decidedly tranquil, a accompaniment not calmly accomplished in this day and age.