Vietnam to restore old iconic temple

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Hanoi authorities have proposed a US$1.5 million project to restore a nearly 1,000 year old pagoda, which is a symbol and tourism attraction of the capital city, news website VnExpress reported Sunday.

 

"Mot Cot" (One Pillar) Pagoda, also known as Dien Huu, was severely damaged recently and leaks from the roof have brought water to the statues and flooded parts of the pagoda.

 

The temple was built in 1049 by Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who ruled from 1028 to 1054, in gratitude for having his son.

 

According to the court records, Ly Thai Tong was childless and dreamt that he met the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who handed him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower. The king then married a peasant girl who gave birth to a son.

 

The temple was built on a pillar erected in the middle of a lotus pond, similar to the one in the dream.

 

The government of Ba Dinh District, where the historic Buddhist temple is located, asked experts and officials to give opinions to the restoration.

 

Restoration work is expected to start next year and finish in the first quarter of 2013.

 

"Mot Cot" is regarded alongside "Huong" (Perfume) Pagoda near Hanoi as one of Vietnam's two most iconic temples.

 

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