Chen Kieu Pagoda is a Khmer-styled pagoda in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang. Chen Kieu Pagoda is 10km from Soc Trang City, on the way from Soc Trang to Bac Lieu. Chen Kieu Pagoda was first built in the 19th century and rebuilt in 1969.
About Chen Kieu Pagoda
Soc Trang Province in the Mekong Delta has three well-known pagodas – Khleang, Doi, Dat Set and Chen Kieu – which are all built in Khmer style. Chen Kieu Pagoda (also known as Sa Lon Pagoda) is one of ancient pagodas with the most unique architecture in Soc Trang Province.
Positioned 10 kilometers from downtown Soc Trang Town, Chen Kieu (Bowl) Pagoda or so-called Sa Lon Pagoda, is located on Highway 1A at Dai Tam Commune, My Xuyen District. The pagoda is skillfully decorated with a layer of stylishly designed bowls and different colored plates by ancient artisans and was built with a spiritual significance.
The pagoda was erected in a spacious area with green lines of trees in 1815. It was damaged by war but was renovated in 1969 and some craftsmen used the broken bowls and plates to redecorate it.
The name of the pagoda was taken from the colorful ceramic pieces which are used to decorate the main building of the pagoda. There are 16 huge pillars that surround the pagoda which are also decorated with pieces of Khmer legends. Buddhist teachings and history are also depicted on the wall of the pagoda.
The attraction of the pagoda
A tourist’s first impression may be the motley colors of the pagoda. The gate is highlighted by two giant stone lion statues and the sanctum has 16 pillars carved with images of the legends of Khmer culture. The edges of each roof are decorated with patterns and traditional statues of Khmer culture to inspire peace of mind and salvation.
Along the main entrance is two lines of Fairies Kayno – symbolizing for beauty and strength. The sanctum of the pagoda has 3-layer roof that is smaller from lower to top, of which the top layer has the triangular shape with sharp high peak. Inside the sanctum, there are about 20 Shakyamuni Buddha statues with different meditation position surrounded by paintings of the life of Shakyamuni Buddha from his birth until Nirvana.
In the sanctum there is a huge statue of Sakyamuni and many other Buddha statues.
Also there are a number of statues of various sizes in the garden of Chen Kieu, each representing different teachings of Buddhism. The reclining Buddha represents the peacefulness of entering Nirvana and of gaining enlightenment.
In the garden of the pagoda, there are many small thatched huts on stilts; these are for local pilgrims to meditate to clear themselves from sins or illness.
Inside the pagoda, which was recognized as a national cultural relic last year, are many antiques worth having a look at.
Paradissa has Chen Kieu pagoda on some of our adventure tours in the Mekong Delta. A visit to Chen Kieu helps you understand more of Buddhism and Khmer people in Vietnam.
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