Phật Lớn Pagoda (roughly translated “The Great Buddha Pagoda”) was built in 1912, on a large land near the mountain, near the top of Cấm Mountain (at an altitude of 526 m above sea level).
The reason for such name is because in the temple there is a 1.8 m high Buddha statue. At that time, this image was taller than other worshiping images in the region. So people called to distinguish it from Phật Nhỏ Pagoda (The Little Buddha Pagoda) in the east, also on this mountain.
Mr. Bảy Do (full name is Cao Văn Long) was the first person to build and lead a religious life at Phật Lớn Pagoda. After he was captured by the French colonialists, the pagoda became deserted. Until 1914, Mr. Lầu – an ex-village administrator of An Khanh village – went to Linh Son pagoda (Saigon) thanks to Mr. Cò Mi Chấn (Vice President of Vietnam Association of Buddhist Studies) stood out to ask for permission to rebuild the pagoda.
The path to Phật Lớn Pagoda. (Source: Internet)
In October 2003, Phật Lớn Pagoda constructed a giant Maitreya Buddha statue, weighing 400 tons with 33.60 metres high reinforced concrete, on a 2 hectares wide campus, facing the pagoda. The work was done by sculptor Thụy Lam, adorning the shores of Thủy Liêm Lake between Vạn Linh Pagoda and Phật Lớn Pagoda. In addition to the enormous size, the uniqueness of the statue is the serenity of the face, thereby expressing the compassion and joy of a happy and open smile.
Through many times of remodeling the pagoda now has an area of up to 13.6 hectares, including a main hall, a bell house, a rest house, an electricity and water systems, etc. to serve worshiping and allow guests on pilgrimage or visit. This is a spiritual tourist destination that attracts a large number of visitors when visiting the Southwest region of Vietnam.