In Hai Duong province, Cuong Xa pagoda is a major religious center with unique architecture. The pagoda has become a popular destination for religious followers and tourists.
Located 80km from Ha Noi, Cuong Xa in Hai Tan commune is one of Viet Nam’s most beautiful and oldest pagodas.
It was first restored in the 17th century during King Le Vinh To’s reign. It was later seriously damaged in war. In 1946, locals restored the pagoda for the second time.
The most Venerable Thich Thanh Cuong, Head of Cuong Xa pagoda, says in 2009 the pagoda was upgraded and expanded to cover more than 360 square meters.
During the ground breaking, evidence of the pagoda’s history was found.
Most Venerable Thich Thanh Cuong said,“During the reconstruction of the pagoda, we found remnants of the foundation. We invited historians to do further research. Historians Tang Ba Hoanh and Le Van Lan confirm that it dates back to between the 1st and 3rd century. The pagoda was also called Quynh Khau Pagoda or Jade Mound Pagoda”.
Cuong Xa pagoda consists of 5 main halls, 3 back halls, 5 ancestor worship halls on the right, and 5 Mother and Buddha worship halls on the left.
The pagoda was built from 3,000 blue stones. Each stone is 80 kg, 40 cm long, 30 cm wide, and 35 cm thick and carved with swastikas, a symbol of good fortune and is an inexhaustible source of life and eternity.
Cuong Xa pagoda was recognized by the Viet Nam Book of Records as one of Viet Nam’s first pagodas to have a stone foundation and walls decorated with swastikas.
In April 2016, Cuong Xa inaugurated a hall to worship Buddha, Buddhist teaching and Shangha. The hall was built with stone and 18 pillars of iron wood. Each pillar is 1 meter in perimeter, 8 meters high and 1.7 tons weigh.
The most Venerable Thich Thanh Cuong said, “In the new hall, there are statues of Amida Buddha, the Goddess of Mercy, and the Great Bodhisattva in the first row. The statue of Kuan Yin, with thousands of eyes and thousands of hands is in the second row, and the 6.6-ton statue of Sakyamuni Buddha, made of white stone from Ngu Hanh Son mountain in Da Nang, is in the 3rd row.”
“In the 4th row is the Cuu Long tower made of bronze. In the 5th row are 7 statues dedicated to Bhaijyaguru Buddha, praying for peace for the nation and the people and for favorable weather,” he noted.
Cuong Xa pagoda is located in a favorable position in a harmonious natural setting. Uong Thi Hoa from Ha Noi shared, “The pagoda is very beautiful and spacious. Inside, the Buddha Trinity Sanctuary Hall is splendid and solemn. It’s a very rare pagoda in Viet Nam”.
Cuong Xa receives thousands of pilgrims and visitors a year. They come here to worship Buddha and to find peace and meaning in life.