Hanoi authorities announced on December 12 that they would spend VND18.5 billion (USD890,000) to upgrade the Mot Cot, or One-Pillar Pagoda, which is expected to be completed by April 2014.
Time and weather have lefttheir marks on the One-Pillar Pagoda and its complex.Moreover, during previous restorations, several features were addedwhich changed the original landscape and structure.
For many years, during therainy seasons, statutes within the building have had to be covered withraincoats, and nuns and monks used buckets to collect rain water. Someparts of the complex have also been flooded.
A monk pointing at signs of deterioration at the pagoda
Since 2009, local authorities have sought out opinions on how best to repair the pagoda. They started to fix the roof, planted more trees and created a sewage system in 2010. The authorities of Ba Dinh District are getting the approval of other agencies to carry on with the project’s next stage.
At first, the total investment for this project was about VND31 billion (USD1.5 million), however, the most recent announcement said it will cost over VND18.5 billion. “We’ll strictly follow every requirements and procedure to ensure of the quality of construction,” said vice head of Ba Dinh District People’s Committee Do Viet Binh.
According to the plan, previously added structures will be removed, while seriously deteriorated structures, such as Tam Bao Temple and other places of worship in the complex will be disassembled for upgraded. They will try to take the advantage of the old materials such as roof tiles instead of replacing them.
All new changes and buildings will have to conform to the original architecture.
The One Pillar Pagoda was built at an order by Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who ruled from 1028 to 1054.
Built of wood on a single stone pillar, 1.25m in diameter, it isdesigned to resemble a lotus blossom, a Buddhist symbol of purity.