An Quang Pagoda (also known as To Dinh An Quang) is located at 243 Su Van Hanh Street, Ward 9, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City. The pagoda was first built by the Venerable Thich Tri Huu in 1948. In spite of not being an ancient pagoda, it plays an important role in the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha. It has witnessed many important events in the ups and downs of Vietnamese Buddhism.
In 1948, the pagoda was first built by Venerable Thich Tri Huu from Linh Ung Pagoda, Da Nang. At first, it was just a small pagoda roofed with leaves and named Ung Quang Tu. After that, he opened a dogma teaching class for young monks and Ung Quang Pagoda had a small school of Buddhism.
In 1950, Venerable Thich Thien Hoa was given the right to manage Ung Quang Pagoda. He built the main hall in the style of Tu Dam Pagoda in Hue. In 1951, the pagoda was renamed as An Quang. The pagoda built an additional row of ancestor house (1955), rebuilt the lecture hall (1959) and the main building was reconstructed (1966).
The An Quang Pagoda campus has an area of about 2,300m2. The present pagoda now is designed by Architect Nguyen Huu Thien. It is a combination of architectural quintessence of Vietnam, India, China and Japan.
An Quang Pagoda has 2 gates. The pillar of the gate is 1.15m wide, 1.62m long, 5m high, and is covered with blue stones with square blocks. Above the pillar, there is a Falun symbol and a small tower, surrounded by four lion statues which their heads towards four directions.
In front of and on the right of the main building, there is a precious tower of 36 m high, 6 floors, with a harmonious architecture between Vietnam and Japan. The precious tower worships Amitabha Buddha, Ksitigarbha, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, śarīra. The rest worships the supreme patriarchs: Thich Tri Huu, Thich Thien Hoa, Thich Thien Hoa and martyrs. Next to the tower is the auditorium where monks and Buddhists study dogmas. Opposite the precious tower, there are the cultural house and the guest house. Above them, there is GuanYin Temple.
The main building is in the middle of the campus of the pagoda. It consists of the ground floor and the first floor. The ground floor has 2 spaces. the front space was used as the Headquarters of the Unified Buddhist Congregation of Vietnam from 1965 – 1980 and the Office of the City’s Buddhist Committee HCM from 1981 to 2000. In the present, the front space is closed. The backspace has a Maitreya statue laughing happily.
The first floor also has 2 spaces. The front space has Amitabha statue and Bhaisajyagurumade in the solemn meditation posture. The backspace has Guanyin statue with compassing appearance. The left of Guanyin statue has Dharmapala statue in stately appearance.
Behind the main building is the ancestor house. At the back, in the center, there is Shakyamuni Buddha statue. The right of Shakyamuni Buddha statue is the ancestor altar. The left is the altar of monks’ souls. The 2 walls on 2 the sides have lots of bone ash boxes. On the right and on the left of the ancestor house are the room rows for the monks.