Hoang Phap Pagoda is located in Tan Hiep Commune, Hoc Mon District, Ho Chi Minh City. The Pagoda has an area of over 6 ha and has existed for over a half-century now. It is not only beautiful about the landscape but also beautiful about the morality of the founder. Pagoda is also a place attracting the most Buddhists in Vietnam.
The main hall was first built of wood and leaves by Superior Buddhist Monk Ngo Chan Tu in 1957. After having changed a wasteland into a construction land area for 2 years, the Monk rebuilt the hall with bricks and tiles, the front looks to the northwest. Through the years, the main hall was severely degraded. In 1995, Venerable Monk Thich Chan Tinh rebuilt it. Since then, the pagoda has continued to develop.
Superior Buddhist Monk Ngo Chan Tu has a real name as Tran Rinh. He was born in Thai Binh Province in 1901. He early met Buddhism and has followed Buddha’s way. He went to many places, restored and built many pagodas in the country. In 1957, He bought 6 hectares of land in Tan Hiep Commune, Hoc Mon District and started changing the wasteland into construction land. Since establishing the pagoda, he had carried out charitable activities to help human beings. He also wrote many books to propagate Buddhism. He passed by in 1988, having left the much regret of Buddhists and people.
In the present, Buddhist Monk Thich Chan Tinh leads Hoang Phap Pagoda. His real name is Nguyen Sy Cuong. He was born 1958 in Ha Bac Province and left home for Pagoda in 1973 with a lead of Great Superior Buddhist Monk Ngo Chan Tu in Hoang Phap Pagoda. With Buddhist Monk Thich Chan Tin’s lead, Hoang Phap Pagoda is more and more developing.
The three-arched entrances gate of Hoang Phap Pagoda has oriental architectural style – red tile, bent roof, but neater. Above, in the middle entrance has word line: “Chùa Hoằng Pháp”. Hoang Phap pagoda has a large campus with many tall tree and cool shadow.
The main hall has the width of 18m, the length of 42m. The total area is 756m2. It is built according to modern architectural style connecting with traditional architectural style. The temple has 2 red tile roof layers bent at the corners. Whole foundation, pillars, ceiling, and roofs are built of cement and steel. The walls are built of bricks, the outside surface painted and the inside surface stuck of glazed-brick and the foundation stuck of granite.
Two sides of steps leading to the main hall have 2 big lion statues made of cement. Two sides of the door are 2 carvings carving 2 Vajrapani Bodhisattva with a strong body and a firm face. The front hall worships Sakyamuni Buddha sitting on the lotus in meditation posture, the height of about 4,50m. The above around the wall is 7 carvings made of cement, describing the life of Buddha from being born to going into the nirvana. The hind hall worships Superior Buddhist Monk Ngo Chan Tu – The founder of Hoang Phap Pagoda. On the wall has 2 carvings describing his activity life. Two left and right sides are the altars of spirits.
Opposite the main hall is the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree with meditation posture. The sight looks simple and peaceful. On the right of the main hall is Nhi Nghiem Tower – The place setting Superior Buddhist Monk Ngo Chan Tu’s bone. The tomb has a strange shape – cylinder shape with dome top. A short distance from the Tomb is the tomb towers of nuns. Next is large comfortable cool dining house having Hon Non Bo (Hon Non Bo is the Vietnamese artwork making miniature landscapes, imitating the scenery of the islands) which causes the fresh cool atmosphere to the pagoda. The parallel is the female nursing home and the end is the kitchen.
On the left of the main hall is a tree garden with a green lawn. Next to bamboo trees is Hon Non Bo with the height of over 10m and the width of 20m located on a water lake. Inside the lake, in the middle is the statue of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva made of white marble with the height of 5m, holding water bottle pouring down. Next is a small Hon Non Bo in the circle lake. Behind Hon Non Bo is Pho Do Tower – Place setting the bones of everyone passing by. Behind the main house is a monk house and is also a lecture house which is able to contain thousands of people. In front of the monk house is a green lawn and a big old tree.
4. Spreading Dharma
Every year Hoang Phap Pagoda organizes training courses for adults and students in order to develop their mentality and physicality. Each course has thousands of people attending. The pagoda has arranged scientifically from eating drinking, taking a rest, studying doctrine to meditating. In the present, Hoang Phap pagoda is considered as the biggest Buddhist training studying Center in Vietnam.