Twin pagodas are generally a rare type of Buddhist temple design. However, these impressive twin pagodas from different Asian countries prove that they are just as culturally and visually significant. Specifically in Thailand and China, twin pagodas attract many Buddhists and tourists around the world. Moreover, some of these pagodas are centuries old.
Doi Inthanon Twin Pagodas
These twin pagodas are in a national park in Thailand. Aside from being one of the most impressive twin pagodas, they are on the top of Thailand’s tallest mountain. This area is also known as the roof of Thailand. While the park is mostly famous for its forests, climate, animals, and natural scenery, the twin pagodas still remain a sight to behold.
The pagodas are known as the Royal Pagodas because they are dedicated to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. The king’s pagoda symbolizes the strength of the air and the land while the queen’s symbolizes the strength and the grace of the land. There are elevators inside the pagodas to take visitors to the top to see the magnificent views of the mountain.
Chinese Garden Twin Pagodas
Contrary to its name, the Chinese Garden Twin Pagodas are not in China but in Singapore. The garden’s construction finished in 1975 and since then it has been an icon of the country. The Chinese Imperial architecture style was specifically chosen to build the garden which is on Jurong Lake which also gives the garden its other name.
The designers of the twin pagodas in the garden also took inspiration from Chinese pagodas. While these pagodas are relatively small, they give the impression of Chinese pagodas nonetheless. While one pagoda’s name is “Cloud Wrapped Pavilion,” the other’s is “Moon Receiving Tower.” The exterior details of the pagodas, little statues and sculptures, are also quite interesting.
Yongzuo Temple Twin Pagodas
Aside from being one of the most impressive twin pagodas, the Twin Pagodas of Yongzuo Temple are also one of the oldest. Dating back to the Ming Dynasty, one of the pagodas was built in 1597 and the other was built in 1612. Moreover, the pagodas managed to stay still for 300 years until one of them started to tilt a little from its center point. In 1995, some experts began working to get the pagoda back to its place and it was successful.
The Twin Pagodas of Yongzuo Temple are the tallest twin pagodas in China. They both have 8 corners, 12 stories, and 260 stone steles in total. The lowest levels are a bit bigger than the upper levels which is a popular design choice while building pagodas. The West Pagoda is 54 meters high, while the East Pagoda is 53 meters high. Furthermore, there are flowers and trees around the pagodas that also date back to the Ming Dynasty.
Sun and Moon Pagodas
Arguably the most popular twin pagodas in the world, Sun and Moon Pagodas are in Guilin, China. They date back to the Tang Dynasty but saw some renovations in the 20th century as well. These pagodas are the central icon of the Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park, built on the Shan Hu Lake. The pagodas are 41 and 35 meters tall.
The bronze pagoda is called the Sun Pagoda while the glazed tiled one is the Moon Pagoda. What is more interesting is that the pagodas have an underwater tunnel connecting them. The foundations of the pagodas represent the unity between the sun, the moon, and the earth. Each pagoda symbolizes the 4 elements and ether which sustains life in the world according to Buddhism.