Tay Phuong pagoda, which is also called Sung Phuc pagoda, is located on Cau Lau Mountain in Thach Xa commune of Hanoi city’s Thach That district.
The pagoda was built in Tang Dynasty and rebuilt in 1554, and has been upgraded and expanded in 1632 and 1660. The pagoda’s upgrade in 1794 under the Tay Son dynasty took its new name of Tay Phuong Ancient Pagoda and preserved its design until today.
The pagoda was built on top of a mountain with over 100 meters high. There are 239 laterite steps to the pagoda; it was designed in the shape of Chinese letter “Tam”, included three parallel temples of Ha Pagoda, Trung Pagoda and Thuong Pagoda along the mountainside, each temple separated by 1.6 meters.
Each temple has a two-level roof ending in strongly curved lance blades. Each roof, made of wood and terracotta, has carved dragons, phoenix and flowers, reaching 2.2 meters in height. The surrounding walls were built with Bat Trang bricks carved with decorative of lotus.
The pagoda has 62 wooden Buddhist statues of Buddha that have been named in the list of National Treasures. Most of the statues are skillfully made of jack fruit wood. They are red-lacquered and each shows off a different character in varied nuances.
In addition, the pagoda has a famous set of 18 Arhat statues carved nearly 300 years ago.
Tay Phuong pagoda festival is held annually on the 6th day of the third lunar month. The pilgrimages come to the festival to enjoy the landscape and the architecture of the pagoda.
With its historical, cultural and architectural values, Tay Phuong pagoda has been recognized as the national historical – cultural relic site in 1962 and as the special national relic site in 2014. In 2015, Buddhist statues in the pagoda under Tay Son Dynasty, dating from late 18th century, have been recognized as a National Treasure by the Prime Minister.