Thien Hau Pagoda (Cho Lon Pagoda)

Thien Hau Pagoda or Cho Lon Pagoda is a 19th-century Buddhist pagoda worships to Goddess Mazu, Lady of the Sea. On the outside, the temple has beautiful carvings and lamps, while inside are bright dioramas depicting scenes from a Chinese city. The three statues of Mazu, accompanied by her guardians, can be found on the main dais. Despite its bustling metropolitan atmosphere, Ho Chi Minh City nevertheless maintains Thien Hau Pagoda as a tranquil oasis that soothes the soul.

 

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Thien Hau Pagoda's (Cho Lon Pagoda) Legend and History

The Thien Hau pagoda was built in 1760 by a group of Chinese immigrants and has been repaired several times since then. The pagoda is situated in the heart of the first Chinese city, which is now known as Cho Lon.

According to scholar Vuong Hong Sen, the major adored divinity in the pagoda is named Lam Mac Nuong, and she is the major adoration of the pagoda. She was born on March 23rd, 1044, during King Tong Nhan Tong's reign. She learned to read at the age of eight and became a Taoist practitioner at the age of eleven. She was blessed by God at the age of thirteen and received God's poem, after which she practiced enlightenment.

When her father and two brothers were on a boat transporting salt to Jiangxi province for trade, a major storm hit... She was weaving fabric with her mother at home at the time, but she was suddenly too ill to go save her father and brothers.

While her hands held her boys, she used her teeth to keep her father's shirt in place. Her mother summoned her and forced her to speak, so she had to open her lips to respond, which caused the waves to sweep away her father, leaving her with only her two brothers to save. Since then, people have called her every time the boat has been in difficulty at sea. The Song Dynasty named her "Thien Hau Thanh Mau" in 1110.

 

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Thien Hau Pagoda's (Cho Lon Pagoda) Architecture

Although neither the Chinese nor the Taiwanese governments recognize Mazuism, it has origins in both Buddhism and Taoism. And these influences may be seen in the Thien Hau Pagoda's construction and idols, which are elegantly coupled together. It features gorgeous architecture that is still standing tall and formidable, almost 200 years after it was built. The temple is surrounded by teal-green wrought iron gates and has a traditional Chinese roof with porcelain statues from Chinese history and religion as well as traditional Chinese lanterns. As soon as you enter the temple and place your food, you will be met by large pots filled with many incense sticks beside Mazu's altar.

It recounts stories of a city in 19th-century China, with obvious Chinese influences in the paintings adorning the temple's dome. These beautiful works of art represent a variety of subjects, including European and Persian commerce, demons, animals, and even Guan Yu's fabled fight with a warrior. On the main dais, three exquisite bronze statues of Thien Hau with multicolored crowns may be found. A life-size model of a boat and the idol of Goddess Long Mau, "Protector of Mothers and Newborns," are also on display. Large bronze bells may be found around the temple, and the personnel will ring them if a donation is provided. If you happen to be in Vietnam during the third month of the lunar calendar, you should definitely stop by since there is a procession where the Mazu idol is paraded around District 5.

Thien Hau Pagoda's Address: 710 Nguyen Trai Road, Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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