SOC TRANG TRUC LAM ZEN MONASTERY – THE PSYCHICAL CULTURAL TOURISM DESTINATION
Soc Trang Truc Lam zen monastery is one of the major buddhist works in Soc Trang province and has gradually become an indispensable destination for tourists to visit this province. The zen monastery had been started constructing on July 24th, 2017 and inaugurated and put into use on January 5th, 2020. It located at Cluster 5, Ward 2, Soc Trang city with a total area of nearly 6ha, including the following items: main hall, entrance, three-way gate, drum floor, bell tower, stupa, three treasures, ancestral house, hall... with total investment capital of over 100 billion VND, contributed by the benefactors and buddhists.
Photo: Zen monastry's main hall
Visiting Truc Lam Zen Monastery, we feel like searching for a quiet place, away from the noisy life in the city. The quiet space and long bell ring evoke a quiet soul to profoundly understand the simplest philosophy of Buddha’s life.
Entering the high and wide gate, built in a curved attic in scimitar head shapes, roofed with red tiles that is very eye-catching at first glance, exuding a majestic, modern but very traditional image. Inside is a spacious bright red brick courtyard leading to the main hall, visitors will see 2 rows of marble statues of Arhats placed in parallel. To the right of the main courtyard is a high bell tower with a curved roof, modeled as the bell tower architecture; inside there is a large red bell (bronze bell) weighing 1.5 tons. On the left side of the yard is a drum tower with a wooden drum set which is elaborately carved, sophisticated and highly artistic. The main hall has eight roof tiles in the style of the Tran dynasty. The power nest has four roofs in the style of the Ly Dynasty. The roof of the monastery is a typical architecture that simulates the agricultural life of the Vietnamese people. The roof of the pagoda is curved in the shape of a boat's head to cope with the waves, narrowing from above, spreading out from the bottom, creating a solid position, also known as "narrow top-large bottom".
Photo: The three-way gate of the monastery
The zen monastery is a large complex structure with many sub-projects. Having a look around from the outside to the inside the monastery, the first highlight is the main hall in the central position, followed by the bell tower, drum tower, and rear... All exude the same dominant color of red-brown tile with large wooden pillars and solid stone base.
Every month, on the first and full moon days of lunar calendar, local people make offerings to the Buddha to pray for peace, health, and favorable business. In particular, many people come here mainly to experience the pure and peaceful space at the monastery.
In addition, on the first and full moon days of each month, the monastery also donates charity vegetarian meals from 700 to 800 servings. On the 15th of January, April, July and November, the monastery also organizes a free vegetarian buffet party for near and far Buddhists. Besides, the monastery was starting to build a statue of Quan Am Buddha, weighing 75 tons; the total cost is about 2.2 billion VND from the social contribution of Buddhists and sponsors. The statue of Quan Am was expected to be inaugurated on the full moon of November lunar month to promptly serve local Buddhists and tourists on the occasion of the Tan Suu New Year 2021.
The monastery was built in accordance with the aspiration of the Buddhists. People come here for cultural and spiritual activities or Buddha worship. Come to Truc Lam zen monastery in Soc Trang once, visitors will enjoy the fresh air mingled with the smell of incense which dispel fatigue and create motivation to continue the current and future life./.