It is about 2.5 km from the center of Soc Trang city to the southwest, Bat pagoda (or called Mahatup pagoda) is an attractive and popular destination with tourists everywhere.
Besides the ancient beauty of the temple has formed several hundred years, ancient trees is the habitat of thousands of bats. Visiting Bat Pagoda in Soc Trang, besides the meaning of burning incense to pray for the family and social peaceful and happy, most travelers are inevitably surprised to admire the bats dangling under the canopy of old trees.
The name of Bat pagoda
Bat pagoda has real name which was transliterated from Khmer is Wathseraytecho – Mahatup, commonly known as Ma Toc Pagoda or Bat Pagoda because the temple has many bats living. Currently, from the fork of Le Hong Phong street and Van Ngoc Chinh street, it can be considered as a “Phum Soc” (village, hamlet) having a large of Khmer people living by cultivation and farming.
According Khmer translation, Maha is great, Tup is the resistance, Mahatup is translated as “A great resistance”. In ancient times, this land took place a fierce battle of the peasant movement rebelled against colonial feudalism, also took place in other places of fierce fighting but failed, only lands at Bat Pagoda won and then people gathered here for living. Since then, they believed this land is the land of peace, so they built the Buddhist temple for religious activities for their hamlet.
The history of Bat pagoda
According to the temple’s ancient bibliographies have left: Bat pagoda started construction since 1569 in the solar calendar, Mr. Thach Ut organized to build the pagoda and has undergone 19 lifetimes of Venerable. So far, the temple was restored many times. In August, 2007 due to the Buddhist burning incense cause unintentional arson, Bat pagoda was burnt.
Soc Trang provincial government has helped to rebuild the main hall of Bat pagoda with a budget of 4 billion VND. Less than 2 years, the new and magnificent main hall was finished in the joy of thousands of Buddhists. The heart of people in the hamlet and local government helped each painting, each pattern array of the temple more brilliant and beautiful.
The Khmer architecture of Bat Pagoda
Bat Pagoda is an overall architecture consists of: the Main Hall, Sala, the synagogue of monks and believers, living room, bed rooms of the abbot and the other monks, the tower to put ashes of the dead… The works housed in a big campus with many ancient trees, an area of about 4 hectares.
Overall, the entire of architectural ensemble is balance, it makes us think that’s a pattern forest with harmony and neat layout, smooth and impressive contours… exudes the spirit of industriousness and creativity through skillful hands of the Khmer.
Campus of the temple is ancient with old trees to towering occupies the space from outside the gate to the backyard of the temple. Besides the main hall, many other quaint building also creates an air of mystery to the tourists. Inside the precincts, there is a large fish pond with cool space surrounded by lush greenery.
The bats live in Bat Pagoda in Soc Trang
Perhaps, the most special thing in Bat Pagoda is the bats. Any traveler after visiting the temple, listening to music, also focused in the backyard of pagoda to look at a lot of bats. Occasionally, bats spread their wings to fly from this branch to other branch.
Bat is winged mammal family, the largest bat weighing 700 – 1.000 g, the length of their wings stretch to either side is from 1.1 m -1.5 m, the fastest cruising speed is from 50-60 km / h. Bats are mammals, breast is two side of their armpit, with mines like Miniature Pinscher species, the mouth has sharp-toothed to gnaw.
Bats feed on fruits, (do not eat rice or meat). Bats feed at night, sleep in daytime. Bats have two legs, each foot has five toes and having claws bent like a sharp hook, on each side shoulder has sharp hook, they do not stand on the tree that using legs hold twigs turning upside down, hanging their head dangling.