The Asian Book of Recods has recognized the Mot Cot Pagoda (One-Pillar Pagoda) as the most unique architecture in Asia, the first record in Vietnam in the category of religion.
The One-Pillar Pagoda resembles a blooming lotus in a square pond, and attracts the most number of visitors to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum relic site.
This outstanding architectural structure is said to be built by King Ly Thai Tong in the 11th century and was given the name ‘Dien Huu’ meaning ‘eternal blessing’. In later years people began to call it the Mot Cot Pagoda, particularly for its structural shape.
In 1954, before withdrawing troops from Vietnam, the French destroyed the pagoda with dynamite. Over the years, the Ministry of Culture has restored the pagoda to as it stands today.
The restored pagoda is smaller than the original, but still retains its unique architecture.
At present the pagoda looks quite downgraded, with water sometimes leaking from the roof after a rainfall, said Venerable Thich Tam Kien.
Since 2009, the People’s Committee of Ba Dinh District has been planning to repair and restore the pagoda under a project fund of VND31 billion (US$1.49 million). However, the project has been stagnant for the last four years, with only two meetings having been hosted with related experts to gather opinions.
Do Viet Binh, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee in Ba Dinh District, said that they will organize a seminar by the end of this month to discuss ways to restore the pagoda.
After gathering opinions from experts, the district will report to the People’s Committee to further clarify and seek sanction from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.