Truc Lam Zen Monastery is on the Phung Hoang mountain (Phoenix mountain) towards charming Truyen Lam lake. This is one of the famous tourist attractions in Dalat city with the highest number of tourists.
The road to Truc Lam Zen Monastery is extremely special because tourists have to go through the most beautiful palace in Dalat, which is Bao Dai palace.
Truc Lam Zen Monastery is one of three largest monasteries in Vietnam with the area of 30ha. From the Monastery, it just takes tourists about 5km to go to the center of Dalat city. The two sides of the monastery is surrounded by the immense pine forests.
Legend about the Monastery
One night in 1986, when sleeping soundly, the Buddhist monk Thich Thanh Tu dreamed that he was embracing the neck of phoenix to fly up to the sky. After waking up, he immediately thought of Dalat with the cool climate around the year, beautiful landscapes and quiet lakes. Therefore, he said that if building a monastery in Dalat, they will soon get achievement in sitting in meditation. Then, he draw the overview of the monastery and go find for the suitable one. When going to Tuyen Lam lake, he felt so satisfied that he carried out the procedures of land ownership certificate to build the monastery.
Truc Lam Zen Monastery was built on April 8, 1993. Until February 8, 1994, it was completed and opened the first meditation course. Who designs the monastery are Vu Xuan Hung, Tran Duc Loc and famous architect Ngo Viet Thu designing Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh city.
Four main areas in the Monastery
- The meditation area of the monk
- The area of Venerable Abbot
- The exteral area of the Monastery
- The internal areas of the monk and the nun
If tourists are sightseeing Tuyen Lam lake, they can walk up to the slope of 140 stone steps and go through three gates to visit the main hall.
Main hall of Truc Lam Zen Monastery has the area of 192m2. Inside the main hall is the statue of Buddha Shakya thub-pa (also called Gau-ta-ma) which is 2m in height. The right right hand of teh statue is holding a branch of lotus. When looking at this Buddha statue, many tourists surely think of the giant statue of Van Hanh Zen Monastery.
Above the main hall is the sophisticatedly carved reliefs about 8 gestures of Buddha. In the left side of the statue of Buddha Shakya thub-pa is the statue of Boddhisattva of Universal Knowledge sitting on 6-ivory white elephant and the right side is statue of Mañjughoṣa sitting on the green lion.
After leaving the main hall, tourists can visit the beautiful flower garden to take some photos as a unforgettable memory. Then, tourists will go to Tinh Tam lake where there are a variety of turtles. Moreover, around the lake, there are many stone benches for tourists to sit and take a rest.