Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre – a historic temple of Northern Buddhism.

July 17, 2020 5 mins to read

Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre is one of the temples belonging to the Northern Buddhist tradition, still retaining many traditional features. Stopping by during your Ben Tre travel journey, you’ll have the chance to admire its unique architecture, experience a sense of peace, and participate in unique festivals.

Introduction to Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre

1.1 Where is Vien Minh Pagoda located?

Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre is an ancient temple belonging to the Northern Zen Buddhist tradition. It is at 1 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street in the city center. The temple was built in 1874 through the collective efforts of the local community, covering an area of over 3,300m2 with an initially simple design. After undergoing renovations, Vien Minh Pagoda has become one of the highly renowned spiritual tourism destinations in Ben Tre. Every year, numerous local and international visitors explore the tranquil ambiance of Vien Minh Pagoda, seeking refuge from daily struggles and a chance to discover its unique cultural and religious beauty.

1.2 Historical formation and development of Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre

Originally, Vien Minh Pagoda was a small, straightforward shrine dedicated to Quan Cong. Over time, the shrine underwent several renovations and transformations into a more glorious temple for Buddhist practitioners. In 1951, Vien Minh Pagoda underwent a significant reconstruction, maintaining its architectural style that endures to this day.

At that time, the head monk of Vien Minh Pagoda was the most venerated Vinh Thien. In 1961, Most Venerable Vinh Thien passed the leadership to his three disciples: Most Venerable Thien Tin, Most Venerable Huyen Vi, and Most Venerable Thanh Tu, who continued to oversee the temple. Since 1975, Most Venerable Thien Tin has entrusted the temple to his disciple, Most Venerable Thich Thien Phuoc, and up to the present moment, the head monk of the temple is Most Venerable Thich Hue Tri.

2. Directions to Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre

From Ho Chi Minh City, you can travel to Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre by bus or motorbike. Suppose you prefer traveling in a group and exploring multiple destinations in the coconut land. In that case, you can consider taking a bus from Mien Tay Bus Station to Ben Tre, with ticket prices around 150,000 VND per person. Once you arrive at Ben Tre Bus Station in the city center, you can easily take a taxi or use Grab to reach 1 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street (Ward 2), where the pagoda is located.

3. Unique Features of Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre

3.1 Architecture of Vien Minh Pagoda

Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre is a Buddhist temple featuring a statue of Quan Thanh De, tailored to accommodate the customs and beliefs of both the Chinese and Vietnamese people. The entrance gate is built in the traditional three-gate style, adorned with carvings of lotus towers, yin-yang roof tiles, and intricate dragon and phoenix motifs on both sides, captivating the eyes. Beyond the gate is a spacious, lush courtyard with numerous green trees and ornamental flowers, enhancing its aesthetic appeal. In the temple courtyard, a 3-meter-high statue of Quan The Am Bodhisattva stands gracefully on a lotus pedestal, holding a vase in the left hand and a willow branch in the right, in the compassionate posture of saving all beings. Next to Quan The Am statue is a 7-meter-high statue of Buddha Shakyamuni seated on a lotus throne, exuding a dignified and benevolent aura.

As you explore the courtyard of Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre, you will reach the majestic Main Hall. Designed in the traditional style of Vietnamese temples, harmoniously blending with the cultural essence of China, the architecture is unique and familiar. Inside the Main Hall are altars dedicated to the Buddha, constantly filled with the scent of incense smoke, accompanied by two statues made of bamboo, including A Di Da Buddha and Thich Ca Mau Ni, adding a special touch. Thanks to such impressive architectural features, this place is consistently among the famous temples in Ben Tre. When you visit the scenery of Vien Minh Pagoda, listening to the resonating sound of the bell harmonizing with the rustling wind, you will feel a more serene soul, filled with peace and tranquility emanating from the Buddha’s door.

3.2 Cultural activities and festivals at Vien Minh Pagoda

Due to its spacious grounds, on major Buddhist holidays such as the Vu Lan Festival, Buddha’s Birthday, Lunar New Year, and Lantern Festival, Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre organizes grand ceremonies that attract thousands of Buddhists from all directions. Additionally, the pagoda frequently hosts meditation retreats, repentance ceremonies, and Eight Precept initiation ceremonies for Buddhist practitioners. Over time, Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre has become more well-known and established itself as one of the prominent pilgrimage sites and spiritual tourism destinations in the coconut region.

4. Conclusion

Despite not being an ancient temple with extravagant or imposing architecture, Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre captivates many visitors with its rare tranquility and serenity. If you have the opportunity to visit the land of coconuts, be sure to stop by and fully experience the unique features of this pagoda. Don’t forget to bring a Ben Tre travel guide on before setting out, as numerous attractive destinations are still waiting for you to explore!

Chùa Viên Minh Bến Tre

Vien Minh Ben Tre Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Địa chỉ chùa Viên Minh trên bản đồ

Vien Minh pagoda address on the map (Photo Collection)

Cổng chùa Viên Minh Bến Tre

Gate of Vien Minh Ben Tre Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Chùa viên minh có lối kiến trúc truyền thống đẹp mắt

Minh Vien temple has beautiful traditional architecture (Photo Collection)

Chánh điện được trang trí một cách trang nghiêm

The sanctuary is solemnly decorated (Photo Collection)

Tượng phật Quan Âm nằm trong khuôn viên sân chùa Viên Minh

The statue of Guan Yin is located in the courtyard of Vien Minh Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Tượng Phật Thích Ca cao 7m được đặt trong sân chùa Viên Minh

The 7-meter-high Shakyamuni Buddha image is placed in the courtyard of Vien Minh Temple (Photo Collection)

Bàn thờ tổ trong chùa Viên Minh

An altar in Vien Minh Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Phòng nghỉ được trang trí khá đẹp (Ảnh Collection)

Rooms are pretty well decorated (Photo Collection)

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