Ong Met Pagoda is the common name of the Khmer Theravada Buddhist temple located in Ward 1, Tra Vinh city. The Sanskrit name of this temple is Bodhisàlaraja, the Khmer people still call it Wat Kompong, which means Ben Pagoda.
As a large temple located in the center of the provincial capital, convenient for both road and waterway traffic with a system of Khmer temples throughout the districts in the province as well as in the southwestern provinces, Ong Met pagoda has become the center of the city. provincial Khmer Buddhist Center and was selected to house the Mahanikay Khmer Buddhist Administration Office.
As the central temple, Ong Met Pagoda was donated by monks and Khmer people throughout the province with money and labor to create an architectural work of high artistic value. This is also the training center for many generations of talented monks, making many contributions to the development of Buddhism in particular, the Khmer national culture in general and the history of revolutionary struggle of the Tra Vinh ethnic community. under the leadership of the Party.
From those values, Lord Ong Met was ranked as a national historical-cultural relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2009.
There is no scientific data to conclude exactly, but according to legend, this is an ancient Khmer temple that has existed for many centuries. At the beginning of the twentieth century, when Minh Duc village officially became the provincial capital of Tra Vinh, the Catholic Church was invested and built by the colonial authorities, the Khmer community also joined hands in building the dignified Ong Met temple. , superficiality as a form of honoring national cultural values.
The temple consists of many harmonious architectures surrounding the main hall, in the area of nearly 1.3 hectares with a closed wall surrounding it, the facade overlooking Le Loi Street in the east, true to the traditional thought. Buddhism is the Buddha in the West but always keeps his eyes on the east to save sentient beings. The back wall has a small gate on the west side, overlooking To Thi Huynh street. The two sides are Nguyen Trai Street in the south and Ly Tu Trong Street in the north.
The gate of Ong Met Pagoda is a beautiful architecture with 8 pillars supporting the roof of the gate and dividing the gate into a wide main aisle and two smaller aisles on either side. On the top of each column is decorated with two-faced Keyno Birds, always smiling to welcome guests. The two sides of the gate are two walls that are both lower and wider, decorated by a pair of seven-headed snakes in the style of traditional Khmer art.
The main hall of Ong Met pagoda faces east and is built on a three-level foundation. The first level is green stone 1.35 m high, surrounded by an iron fence nearly 2 m high and on each end of the fence post there is a four-sided Bhrama image. In the four corners of the first level, there are four towers containing the ashes of the deceased. The second level floor is 1.13 m high, surrounded by walls, but there are gaps to go up and down. The third level is the top floor of the main hall built of 0.7 m high bricks, more than 20 m long and nearly 10 m wide. The main hall consists of 32 precious wooden pillars, divided into 4 rows. At each end of the column and the horizontal skewers are carved with golden lacquered patterns. The roof of the main hall is designed into a single-level vertical roof and a two- or three-level lying roof. There is a gap between the roof levels so that the wind can circulate to cool the inside air. The ridge between the roof tiles is decorated with a dragon's dorsal fin with its tail up, the head beam down low, while all the tiles are stacked on the roof to form dragon scales. If you look down from above, you will see the roof of the main hall of Ong Met pagoda like a flock of dragons looking down from the sky in four directions of the world. The two gables in front and behind the main hall are two precious wooden panels carved elaborately with many images showing the cultural and spiritual life of the Khmer people in the South.
On the altar inside the main hall is the majestic statue of Shakyamuni Buddha on a lotus 4.4 m high; 5 m long and 4.3 m wide. This is one of the largest Buddha statues in the Khmer temples in Tra Vinh. Around this large statue, there are also many smaller Buddha statues made of various materials such as stone, cement, bronze, wood, etc. with different sizes and postures such as Buddha ordination, Buddha begging for food, Buddha attaining enlightenment, Buddha preaching. France…
Behind the main hall is the Library with the unique architecture of traditional wooden stilt houses of the ancient Khmer people in the South. All 24 column heads, center obliques, vertical obliques... are elaborately carved, painted with gold plated. The library has three compartments, in the middle is a place to store books, including many ancient bibliographies; Two compartments on both sides are places for reading and studying of monks and relatives in Phum Soc.
On the campus of Ong Met temple, there are also some architectural structures such as monks, Mahanikay Buddhist Administration Office, lecture hall, Neakta worshiping sala, memorial tower, etc. Although built in different stages with different materials. The materials are different and are used for different purposes, but these independent architectures exist harmoniously in a general architectural complex imbued with the cultural identity of the Khmer people in the South.
About the name according to Sanskrit Bodhisàlaraja temple. According to the extract Bodhi is Buddha or Buddha; Sala is a sala tree or a long life tree - a sacred tree of the Khmer people; Raja is the King. Since then, Bodhisàlaraja is understood as "Buddha statue made of the most precious wooden body, Long life". This name of the temple is associated with the legend of the old days, the entire area of Ward 3, Ward 4, Tra Vinh city is now a wet land, covered like a big pond, while the area of Ward 1 and Ward 2 is a dry sand dune that has formed villages and hamlets. Long Binh river that day had a zigzag flow to the foot of the spring. One night, while meditating, the monk from a nearby temple saw a holy monk coming to tell him that a Buddha image had emerged in the middle of a large pond and wanted to ask for it to come up, the only way was to use seven colored threads. Next morning, When the first monk arrived at the wharf, he certainly saw a very large wooden Buddha statue of Long Life. The monk and his relatives held a prayer ceremony and then used seven threads as instructed by the holy monk. However, not far from the pond, when he reached the foot of the Bodhi tree by the wharf, the seven threads broke at the same time, the Buddha statue stopped, unable to continue. Knowing that it was the will of heaven, the monk decided to build a temple where the wooden Buddha statue was located and called it Bodhisàlaraja temple. That wooden statue of Long Life, then added a layer of cement, is the big Buddha image worshiped in the main hall today. Knowing that it was the will of heaven, the monk decided to build a temple where the wooden Buddha statue was located and called it Bodhisàlaraja temple. That wooden statue of Long Life, then added a layer of cement, is the big Buddha image worshiped in the main hall today. Knowing that it was the will of heaven, the monk decided to build a temple where the wooden Buddha statue was located and called it Bodhisàlaraja temple. That wooden statue of Long Life, then added a layer of cement, is the big Buddha image worshiped in the main hall today.
Under the Bodhi tree, which was a large wharf, every day residents on the sand dunes went down to get water from the Long Binh river at that time. This place is also a boat dock that can spread all over Tra Vinh, to neighboring provinces. The Khmer call "Big Ben" or "Main Wharf" as Kompong Thom. The temple built on the side of the Big Wharf is Wat Kompong Thom, later called Wat Kompong for short. The Kinh and Chinese people in the region also literally call it "Ben Pagoda".
The name Ong Met Pagoda has two interpretations. The first way is that the senior monk abbot of this temple for a long time was named Monk Meas, so the family used to call it Wat Luckru Meas. The Kinh and Chinese people call it Ong Met Temple. The second way is that the remains of the Buddha statue in the temple are too large, making many Khmer people so surprised that they blurt out: "Men dec!" (Oh my God!). Since then, the sound gradually turned into Ong Met Pagoda.
As the seat of the Administrative Office of the Mahanikay Khmer Buddhism, Ong Met Pagoda has made many contributions to the preservation and promotion of traditional Khmer cultural values in the South. Starting from Ong Met Pagoda, the movement to demand teaching and learning Sanskrit and Khmer characters spread throughout pagodas and temples in the province, against the French colonialists' policy of "stupid people". After that, not only teaching and learning Khmer script but also the national language script was put into teaching, creating conditions for ethnic minority children to be more favorable in learning, and to better and better realize their equal rights among ethnic groups. ethnic. Also from Ong Met Pagoda, Khmer Theravada Buddhism plays an increasingly important role in the material and spiritual life of the Phum Soc people. The temple is not only a place to practice religious rituals, but also a center of community cultural activities,
Ong Met Pagoda is a place to study and train many generations of monks for Khmer temples in Tra Vinh, including many famous and highly virtuous monks who have made many contributions to religion and life such as the great monk Son Vong - the late Vice President. Chairman of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam; Maha Son Thong – former member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front; Most Venerable Maha Thach Saray - the late Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha...
While learning letters and knowledge, generations of Khmer monks at Ong Met pagoda also focused on improving patriotism and the will to hate the invaders. Therefore, this temple is the starting place of the political struggle movement of monks and Khmer people in the province and a shelter for many young people of ethnic groups in the province who did not have to serve as soldiers for the enemy during the resistance war. war against America. Therefore, when the attack on Xuan Mau Than was taking place, the enemy let bombers cause heavy damage even though the temple's location was no more than 150 meters from the Governor's palace.
Along with many other religious and belief establishments, Ong Met Pagoda has contributed to the formation of the spiritual and cultural appearance of the community of Tra Vinh ethnic groups in the common historical process.
With unique historical, cultural and artistic values, Ong Met Pagoda has become an attractive and convenient tourist destination right in the inner city of Tra Vinh.
- Address: Le Loi, Ward 1, City. Tra Vinh, Tra Vinh
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org