Thanh pagoda by the Ky Cung river
Update: Oct 24, 2022
Thanh pagoda is a famous religious and tourism site in Lang Son province. The ancient pagoda with its storied centuries-old history has been recognized as a national historical site.

Thanh pagoda in Lang Son province (VOV)

Thanh pagoda on the bank of the Ky Cung river was built in the 15th century and had the official name Huong Lam Tu. In different historical periods it took other names, such as Dien Khanh and Tuan Khanh Tu. The pagoda has 8 large and small compartments, which have been regularly repaired to maintain its spacious appearance through hundreds of years. The main gate has a 24-layer roof made of various shapes such as curved blades. The roof is exquisitely carved, resembling the heads of dragon, unicorn, tortoise, and phoenix.

The pillars inside the temple are made of ironwood. They are 9 meters high and meticulously carved with Oriental patterns. The temple door is also a carved picture. The temple has a 600 kg bell cast in 1671 in the reign of King Le Huyen Tong, a stone stele made in 1796 in the reign of King Canh Thinh, and a giant jade Buddha statue that weighs more than 30 tons.

Hoang Minh Vu, a resident of Lang Son city, said: “When I was little, my grandparents and parents took me to the pagoda for worship and sightseeing. Now that I’m grown up, I take my family to the pagoda. For me and many other people the pagoda is not just a religious site, but also a place of cultural interest. I pass by the pagoda every day and when I look at it, I feel proud of our history and the Lang region.”

Inside Thanh pagoda in Lang Son province (VOV)

Thanh pagoda is the headquarters of the Executive Board of Lang Son province’s Buddhist Sangha. Every year it hosts important Buddhist events such as All Souls’ Day and Buddha's Birthday.

Venerable Thich Quang Truyen, head of the Lang Son Buddhist Sangha and head of Thanh pagoda, said: “We always keep the pagoda solemnly beautiful. It has maintained all the original features of a Vietnamese worshiping place, which is sacred and serene. We welcome guests to Lang Son and Thanh pagoda to meditate as the sound of the old bell echo on the Ky Cung river, the only river in Vietnam that flows from the southeast to the northwest. We treasure what our ancestors created for us and work together to preserve our cultural heritages.”

Thanh pagoda has 53 monolithic bronze statues. In 2007 the Vietnam Guinness Records, Vietkings, recognized the pagoda for having the most bronze monolithic statues in Vietnam. The statues are delicately sculpted. The majestic upper altar creates a solemn religious atmosphere.

At Buddha’s birthday ceremony on May 18, 2008, monks and followers released 10,000 lanterns on the Ky Cung river to pray for peace for all creatures in the world. The event was acknowledged as a national record by Vietkings.

Hoang Van Pao, Chairman of the Lang Son provincial Heritage Association, says: “The pagoda is a cultural symbol and a sacred religious site of the people. It attracts domestic and foreign tourists to explore the cultural treasures of Lang Son province.”

Duy Thai - Ngoc Anh

VOV - - October 21, 2022