Located on Nguyen Van Bi road, Thu Duc district, Ho Chi Minh City, Nam Thien Nhat Tru (southern land’s one-pillar pagoda) is a one-pillar pagoda which is not only known for its unique architecture, but also as a familiar place for Buddhist monks and followers in the south.
The pagoda has an area of one hectare and its building was started by Monk Thich Tri Dung in 1958. Architect Nguyen Gia Duc designed it as a model of Dien Huu Pagoda (one-pillar pagoda) in Hanoi built during the Ly dynasty. Nam Thien Nhat Tru serves as a worshipping place for southern Buddhist monks, followers as well as local people to remember their ancestors and to pray for the country’s prosperity and people’s safety.
There is a lake in front of the pagoda with many fish, turtles and lotus flowers. The pagoda emerges in the middle of the area with old-style tile and curved corner roof, reflecting the ancient and imposing views. The pillars are made of cement and steel. Inside are the altars on which Buddhist, Bodhisattva and Colossus statues are respectively placed with incense burnt all the day.
The pagoda is green all over with trees. Noises and busy life are not seen inside the pagoda and it is only purity and tranquility that exist.
The pagoda is an impressive spot in the crowded and noisy city of Ho Chi Minh City. It is a common place for southern people to visit and practice their religious belief. Nam Thien Nhat Tru is one of the most beautiful architectural projects, featuring the spiritual and cultural life of Saigon people.