Linh Phuoc pagoda is one of the most famous landscapes of Da Lat, with the typical design of Asian identity. It boasts a perfect combination of temples and pagodas of Eastern architecture. As a result, for many years, the site has always been a spiritual attraction to both domestic and foreign tourists.
I. History of Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Linh Phuoc pagoda took four years to complete, from 1949 to 1952. The primary materials to erect it are fragments of porcelain, glass, and pottery. It was under the control of four monks, Thich Minh The (1951 – 1954), Thich An Hoa (1954 – 1956), Thich Quang Phat (1956 – 1959), Thich Minh Duc (1959 – 1985). From 1985 to present, Thich Tam Vi has been managing the pagoda. He also is the one who restored the site in 1990.
II. What Makes Linh Phuoc Pagoda Special?
1. Sightseeing Zones
18-level hell symbolizes 18 gates, which recount different scenes of how Maudgalyayana passed through to find her mother and explain the profound meanings.
Antique collection, where there are a lot of valuable antiques on displaying.
Souvenir shops, which are stalls hired by small traders to sell various types of tokens, from trinkets to wool clothes with printed characteristics of Da Lat.
Eateries vending vegan food, such as rice, noodles, pho, and grilled sweet potatoes.
The zone of wax sculptures that look like real ancient humans.
2. Architecture & Structure
Splendid mosaics cover the whole stunning shrine. People in Da Lat often call it the pagoda of Ve Chai, or glass bottle, as there is a dragon carefully made from 12.000 the type of container. It has a length of 49 meters, imposingly standing at the entrance gate.
In front of the pagoda, the very first thing appearing in the eyes of visitors is a bell tower with a height of 37 meters, seen as the highest in the city. Additionally, pillars in the shape of flying dragons are diligently carved. What makes numerous tourists surprised is that builders made those pillars from glass fragments. Furthermore, they are able to learn more about the myth of the Buddha Sakyamuni through 12 enameled sculptures, of which the statue of Sakyamuni in the middle, is the most eye-catching.
In the main hall, the highlight is two lines of cobblestone mosaics and sophisticated reliefs about the stories of the Shakyamuni and Lotus Sutras. Besides, the art of tile is shown on the ceilings, walls, and designs of legendary creatures. The meticulous workers did their excellent job of inlaying thousands of tiny parts of broken ceramic, glass, and terracotta.
At the back, there is a site to worship 18 Arhats and 10 Bulls, as well as the statues of Bodhidharma. Through the times, all of them remain their striking pulchritude.
The immense architecture must be the 4.3-meter-high bell, or Dai Hong Chung, in the second level of the tower. Dai Hong Chung has the four words, ‘Linh Phuoc Tu Chung’, Buddhist statues, and the landscapes of One Pillar Pagoda (Hanoi), Thien Mu Pagoda (Hue), Linh Phuoc Pagoda, and Bodh Gaya Tower (India) sculptured on it. Thanks to the contribution of both national and foreign travelers and the continuous work of skillful Hue artists for a year, the bell with classical harmonic features has left tourists with a deep impression about the pagoda.
Its quite impressive weight, 8.500 kilograms, used to make the bell become the heaviest one in Vietnam. However, at present, the chime in Bai Dinh Pagoda (Ninh Binh Province) is on the first ranking. Next to the bell, there is a gilded statue of Bodhisattva ornamented with more than 600.000 colorful blossoms.
The accommodation of the monks is on the right of the pagoda. The three-floor building consists of a semicircular lotus pond, rooms for monks, a big living room, and a library. You can also see the place for worshiping and the Long Hoa flower garden.
The campus at the pagoda is not quite large, so most of the sightseeing time relies on the time you want to contemplate the details and step the stairs. If you go with a group of people, make sure to catch up with them, as the pagoda is a stop of many bus routes.
III. What to See and Do at Linh Phuoc Pagoda?
1. Praying at Dai Hong Chung Chime
A rotation of the bell represents a season in the year. We highly recommend you turn it based on the season you are in, write down your wish on the part of yellow paper, glue it on the bell and tinkle the chime three times to deliver the message to the Buddha. It would bring you good luck if you did this spiritual ritual in the pagoda.
2. Discovering the Hell on Your Own
The second thing is to go to the inferno by yourself. With the scenes illustrating the details of the inferno with sounds and lights, and the story of Maudgalyayana finding her mother, you will feel as if you are lost in the real hell under the earth. Going there alone will help you acquire the most apparent feeling. The best time to do it is the low season, or early mornings and late afternoons when there are not so many tourists.
3. Trying Hot Tofu
The last thing that you should do during a trip to Linh Phuoc pagoda is to relish hot tofu in small eateries inside the pagoda. When the cold wind blows, holding a hot bowl of tofu will warm up your heart, and your stomach, too.
IV. How to Get to Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Situated in the Northeast of the city, Linh Phuoc pagoda takes 8 kilometers to reach from Dalat city center. Heading to the land, the tranquil scene, and the distinctive design of the temple will definitely make you overwhelmed.
There are 03 common ways to get to the pagoda.
- Hire a motorbike (from 80,000 VND to 120,000 VND per day), or a car, (about 1,000,000 VND) from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. By renting and driving on your own, you can stop at any beautiful destinations on the way to the pagoda.
- Go by bus: You just need to spend from 4,000 VND to 30,000 VND to go from the city center.
- Take a train at 170,000 VND for a round trip. Each journey takes only 25 minutes, from Da Lat railway station to Trai Mat village. Then, you can easily walk to the pagoda. The reason why visitors like to catch a train to Linh Phuoc is that the train moves slowly enough for them to enjoy the lush greenery and fantastic landscapes from the mean of transport.
V. Extra Tips on Visiting the Pagoda
The entrance to the Linh Phuoc pagoda is quite narrow and crowded, causing a traffic jam, especially in the high season; therefore, big cars cannot enter inside. In the low season, vehicles are allowed to park in front of or behind the pagoda under the instruction of security guards.
Travelers should not wear informal clothes, such as shorts, tank tops, and miniskirts. Remember to lightly walk, softly speak, and not to play around.
Since the pagoda will close after 5:00 p.m., visitors should arrange their schedules appropriately so that they have enough time to visit the whole pagoda.
Keyword: Linh Phuoc Pagoda: a Must-Visit During a Trip to Dalat