Linh Phuoc Pagoda (Chùa Linh Phước) is one of the highlighted religious structures in Dalat. It’s commonly known as Ve Chai Pagoda (ve chai means junk in Vietnamese) by locals.
The construction of Linh Phuoc lasted from 1949 to 1952. In 1990, the pagoda underwent renovation into what it is today.
Things to See in Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Linh Phuoc Pagoda’s decorative features are all meticulously crafted out of broken glass bottles and ceramic pieces. The pagoda holds 11 national attainments or record breakers for:
1. The tallest bell tower of 36 meters in Vietnam.
2. The tallest Guan Yin (Quan Âm) statue inside a building in Vietnam.
3. The tallest wooden Bodhidharma (Đạt Ma) statue in Vietnam.
4. The biggest strawflower statue of Guan Yin in Asia.
5. The biggest wooden Mahamayuri (Khổng Tước Minh Vương) statue in Vietnam.
6. The largest amount of broken glass and ceramic pieces used in a pagoda in Vietnam.
7. The largest trunk, from the Myrtaceae myrtle, with the carving of a sutra.
8. The biggest wooden pallet made of merawan or golden oak (gỗ sao) in Vietnam.
9. The best wooden carving in golden oak of ‘two pine trees with 120 white storks’ (song tùng bách hạc) in Vietnam..
10. The biggest table and chair set with carvings of the Twelve Zodiac Animals, also made from golden oak.
11. The longest ‘18 Levels of Hell’ structure in Vietnam.
The Yard of Linh Phuoc Pagoda
One of the main highlights here is the 49-meter dragon. Its body alone takes up 12 000 pieces of broken glass and ceramic. Around 50 000 pieces were used to complete the dragonic features.
The strawflower Guan Yin statue consists of 600 000, or more than a ton, of strawflowers. It stands at 18 m and needs to be renewed every two years.
The golden oak Bodhidarma statue is 5 meters tall and weighs 7 tons. Bodhidarma, or Dat Ma in Vietnamese, is traditionally credited as the founding patriarch of Chan or Zen Buddhism in China. According to Chinese legend, he was the originator of Shaolin Kungfu.
The wooden Mahamayuri (Khổng Tước Minh Vương) is made of 6 tons of merawan wood and is 7 meters high. Mahamayuri translates as Peacock Wisdom Queen.
In Mahayana Buddhism, she’s the benevolent female wisdom deity in contrast to the wrathful male. She’s also one of the five protective goddesses in the Buddhist Pantheon.
The Grand Hall of Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Inside the Grand Hall, as well as the Auxiliary Halls, are numerous worshipable figures. Their intricate details are also composed of glass and ceramic pieces. The halls have life-like wax figures of the past head monks.
There are relief paintings featuring the tales of Sakyamuni Buddha (Thích Ca Mầu Ni Phật), the writings of Amitabha Sutra (Kinh A Di Đà), and Lotus Sutra (Kinh Diệu Pháp Liên Hoa).
The Amitabha Sutra is otherwise known as the Shorter Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra. It’s one of the two Mahayana sutras that describe Sukhavati, the pure land of Amitābha.
The Lotus Sutra is the common shortened name of Sūtra on the White Lotus of the True Dharma. This is one of the most popular and influential Mahayana sutras.
The key note 12-meter Guan Yin statue is made of steel-reinforced concrete. It’s also surrounded by 324 more Guan Yin statues of 3.7 meters.
18 Stories of Hell in Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Linh Phuoc Pagoda features a 300-meter structure depicting the 18 levels of hell in Buddhist mythology. It relays the teachings of karma in Buddhist doctrine. The King of Hell passes down judgement and banishes the wrong-doers to their prospective place in the depths of Hell.
The stories revolve around Maudgalyayana Bodhisattva (Bồ tát Mục Kiền Liên) rescuing his mother from the suffering in Hell. Maudgalyayana was a spiritual wanderer in his youth.
Eventually, he met the Buddha, ordained as a monk under him, and attained enlightenment shortly afterwards. He then used his powers to see where his parents were after their deaths.He found his father in the Heaven Realm but his mother in Hell. The Buddha advised him to earn merit on his mother’s behalf so she could be reborn in a better place. This story set him as a role model for filial piety in Buddhism.
How to get to Linh Phuoc Pagoda
- At Dalat Railway Station, you can purchase a one-way or round trip to Linh Phuoc Pagoda which is 7 km away.
- Grab is a convenient ride hailing service similar to Uber.
- Rental motorcycles are probably the most convenient way for young singles or couples.
Check out our article on ‘20 Best Things To Do in Dalat’ for further details on how to get to Dalat and from there to Linh Phuoc Pagoda.