Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vietnam - Cao Dai Temple


This group, Caodaiism, believes in universal and monotheistic religion and practices religious tolerance. They pray four times in one day.

Caodaiists wear four colors inside the temple. The blue represents Taoism, yellow for Buddhism while red for Confucianism. The rest of the faithful wears white. They believe that our goal in this life is to join God the Father in heaven and to be free from the cycle of birth and death.

Moreover, I've never thought that I would see here the famous all-seeing eyes (divine eye) symbol; a single (left) eye inside a pyramid or triangle. Actually, this symbol represents their religion. On their altar is a sphere having an eye at the middle which symbolizes the divine eye overseeing the universe.

So much with facts. I am sure tourists come here not to learn their religion but to observe their rituals and ceremony. The temple itself is an added attraction due to its design and colorful dragons.

Cao Dai temple is located at Tan Yinh, Vietnam and built in 1926. It is quite far from Ho Chi Minh city and near the border of Cambodia. Normally, tourists flock to this temple during their noon-time prayer.

Dai Dao Tamky Pho Do is the complete name of their religion. This is the main gate but in reality tourists are using the side gate to enter the compound. The entire area is quite huge and resemble a park.

the temple - backside view

Tourists are required to enter and exit the temple at both sides. Foot wears are not allowed inside.



While praying, nobody is allowed to cross the front facade of the temple. You need to go around the back of the temple in case you need to go to the other side. 

Unlike the numerous temples of Bangkok, I found this temple as quite unique. The intricate details of the dragons wrapped around the circular beam was simply fascinating to view. Unfortunately, I didn't have my zoom lens thus I wasn't able to have a clear view of their altar. Tourists were restricted to stay at the mezzanine floors at both sides of the temple. The visit lasted for almost an hour and part of 1-day tour that my wife and I booked from our hotel. From here, we traveled to Chu Chi tunnels.

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