Xa Loi Pagoda – Ho Chi Minh City

Xa Loi Pagoda is the largest pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was built in 1956 and was the headquarters of Buddhism in South Vietnam. The pagoda is located in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City and lies on a plot of 2500 square metres. The name Xa Loi is the Vietnamese translation for śarīra, a term used for relics of Buddhists.

Construction began on 5 August 1956, according to the plans drawn up by the architects Tran Van Duong and Do Ba Vinh, while the directing engineers were Du Ngoc Anh and Ho To Thuan. The pagoda was opened on 2 May 1958, by the Most Venerable Thich Khanh Anh. The pagoda was built to enshrine a sample of the relics of Gautama Buddha, giving its name.

The site includes a number of buildings, including the main ceremonial hall and the bell tower. The pagoda is separated from the street by a gated fence. Inside the fence is a popular Chinese-style statue of Quan Am holding a vial of elixir in one hand and making the gesture of removing obstacles with the other. The main hall of the pagoda is located on the upper level.

Men ascend by the stairs on the left hand side, women by those on the right. The hall is rectangular in shape, and is supported by pillars. Facing the entrance is the shrine, which is dominated by a large statue of Gautama Buddha.

The bell tower of Xa Loi Pagoda was opened in 1961. The tower stands 32 m, has seven stories, and is the highest bell tower in Vietnam. On the highest level, there is a bell weighing two tons, which was cast in the model of the bell of Thien Mụ Pagoda in Hue.

Opening hours

The pagoda is open daily from 7 to 11 am and from 2 to 5 pm.

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