One-Pillar Pagoda set for renovations

One Pillar PagodaThe Hanoitimes - The 964-year-old o­ne-Pillar Pagoda, also known as Dien Huu Pagoda, in downtown Hanoi is about to undergo extensive renovations, a local official has said.

The VND32 billion (US$1.6 million) upgrade will involve the main building and courtyard plus the surrounding lake, paths, trees and lighting.

Ba Dinh District Construction Management Department deputy director Vu Kim Khanh said half the cost would be met by ODA and the rest by private sponsors.

The project is expected to start in early September and finished in March next year.

The pagoda’s head monk, Thich Tam Kien, said pagoda management spent VND22 million ($11,000) to improve site drainage and repair the roof tiles earlier this year, but it had failed to improve the situation.

“Recent heavy rains caused flooding at the site because it’s located at the lowest point of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex,” Kien said.

Meanwhile, the roof tiles leak as they have been in place for 20 years. The monks have to protect the statues in the pagoda by clothing them in raincoats and conical hats when it rains.

The temple was built at an order by Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who ruled from 1028 to 1054.

Built of wood o­n a single stone pillar, 1.25m in diameter, it is designed to resemble a lotus blossom, a Buddhist symbol of purity.