Binh Duong Province’s Tay Tang Pagoda is home to the country’s largest statue made of hair, while Hoi Khanh Pagoda has Asia’s longest Reclining Buddha statue on a pagoda’s roof.
Tay Tang (Tibet) Pagoda was built in 1928 with the original name Buu Huong Tu. In 1937, it was renamed after the abbot’s trip to Tibet to study Buddhism. Today, the pagoda is located on a hill surrounded with trees in Chanh Nghia Ward, southern Binh Duong Province’s Thu Dau Mot Town.
At the time of construction, Tay Tang was a very small pagoda. After a major restoration in 1992, it resembled a Tantra pagoda in Tibet.
The main hall is surrounded by a towering garden, with the highlight a 15 m high stupa.
In the center of the main hall is a 2.3 m high statue of Buddha. Next to it stand statues of other Buddha and Bodhisattva.
At the back of the main hall is a statue of Bodhidharma, a semi-legendary Buddhist monk. The statue was confirmed by Vietnam’s record book as the largest made of hair in the country.
It was created in 1982 and is nearly 3 m high. Except for the frame made of iron, the main material is hair obtained from Buddhist followers.
The Mandala tower is about 15 m high with a typical Tibetan design.
Many other statues depict Buddhist philosophy.
Tay Tang Pagoda welcomes many pilgrims at the start of the year, and is most crowded on the evening of lunar January 8 with believers praying for luck and good fortune.
Only 2 km from Tay Tang Pagoda is Hoi Khanh Pagoda, built in 1741, in Phu Cuong Ward, Thu Dau Mot Town.
In 2013, the pagoda unveiled a statue of the Buddha attaining Nirvana 52 m long and 12 m high. Resting on the pagoda’s roof, 23 m above the ground, the Reclining Buddha can be reached via 49 stairs, each stair symbolizing a year that the Buddha spread the message of Buddhism in the world.
This statue is located on an area of 13,000 square meters and was recognized as the longest reclining Buddha statue in Vietnam. It was also named by India-based Asia Book of Records in 2013 as “Asia’s longest Reclining Buddha statue on a pagoda’s roof”.
On the opposite side of the statue lies the main hall of the pagoda that covers 700 square meters.
Inside the main hall, built mainly of wood, are hundreds of Buddha statues.
There are 100 gold-painted wood sculptures in total. Standing out is a set of 90 cm high Arhat statues created by a group of famed craftsmen in Thu Dau Mot Town during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Other sculptures around the pagoda depicting a dragon, lion, phoenix, turtle and small Buddha statues are intricately carved from pieces of terracotta.
The highlight outside the main hall is a 27-meter-high, seven-storey tower built in 2007. Next to it is the ancient Tu Van Tower featuring delicately carved patterns.