Mysterious bat flock at Doi pagoda
The a lot of acclaimed temple in Vietnam\’s Mekong Delta is Doi (Bat) pagoda. This pagoda\’s name is in fact Mahatup or Ma Toc. But it is broadly accepted as Doi pagoda, because the pagoda\’s garden is the home to behemothic bats.
The age-old temple
Located on Le Hong Phong St., 2km from Soc Trang downtown, Doi pagoda is the a lot of acclaimed pagoda in Soc Trang province. It was congenital in the 16th aeon and is one of the oldest pagodas in the province.
The pagoda is acclaimed for its admirable architecture, abnormally its actual ample roof that houses tens of bags of bats. It presents an befalling to contemplate Khmer arts, with skillful, allegorical decorations on its pillars and roof and baroque relieves and statues.
The pagoda has two gates, the capital and the additional gate. It is aberrant that the capital aperture is active actual artlessly while the abetting aboideau looks outstanding, in aureate color, and it is active by a brace of behemothic snakes, with 5 active each.
The pagoda is active by abounding reliefs and statues. On its walls are large-sized paintings featuring the activity of the Buddha.
In the 7ha garden, there are abounding stupas absolute charcoal of monks.
Besides its admirable architecture, the pagoda is aswell arresting for the ample amount of bats roosting in the copse abaft the pagoda. Watching the bats yield to the skies, it will action to you that the pagoda is a different accustomed reserve. Visitors can see bags of bats accepted in immeasurably-high branches, as if assuming in a circus.
Currently, Doi Pagoda is attention a rock Buddha bronze which is 1.5m high, as able-bodied as abounding bibles accounting on amoroso approach leaves, accepted as “leaf-books.”
With a ample amplitude for trees, Doi Pagoda is a agreeable abode to sit and becomes one of the best day-tripper attractions in Soc Trang.
Monk Lam Tu Linh was active with rebuilding the temple afterwards the blaze endure August but he was agog to acquaint us about the history of this 400-year-old temple.
According to the monk, Doi pagoda was congenital in 1569, on a albino coffer abreast the bank of Soc Trang. The aboriginal arch abbot grew copse about the pagoda to anticipate wind and beach from the sea. This garden drew a lot of birds, mostly storks, crows, bats, etc.
He said that Soc Trang has a hundred of temples and abounding of them are actual beautiful, peaceful and acquire all-inclusive area but alone Doi pagoda attracts a lot of birds and abnormally bats.
“I anticipate that the adage ‘birds branch in acceptable land\’ is accurate for this pagoda,” he said.
To prove that the pagoda is a acceptable place, the abbot showed us abounding wells in the pagoda, adage that the pagoda\’s underground baptize ability is actual abundant. Baptize actuality is authentic and can be acclimated immediately. Meanwhile, bounded humans cannot use underground baptize because the baptize is heavily adulterated with alum. They acquire to use pipes to yield baptize from the pagoda to their houses.
Nobody knows if bats came to the pagoda. An old woman said that she saw bats in the pagoda if she was a little girl. “Whenever they alternate to the pagoda, they created a atramentous cloud. The garden was all-inclusive but if they returned, I could not see the blooming of copse but alone the atramentous of bats,” she said.
It is actual aberrant that bats alone branch on the pagoda\’s trees. They even do not branch on branches of copse of families about the temple that extend into the pagoda\’s campus. During hot afternoons, they accessory their wings, authoritative babble in the pagoda.
It is aswell odd that these bats never abandon their belly in the pagoda, but in a garden that is far from the temple.
However, the amount of bats has been reducing, to several thousand at present, due to the actualization of bat restaurants in Soc Trang and adjoining provinces. Though Soc Trang authorities banned restaurants from affairs cuisines candy from bats, but they could not absolutely control.
Standing beneath the bottom of an age-old tree, searching up to bats that were blind on branches, abbot Tu Linh sighed. He went to the garden to see the bats every day and gave a blow because he acutely acquainted a abridgement of bats.
The abbot said that scientists did not accomplish absolute analysis of the bats at his temple. Several years ago, a scientist visited the temple and larboard alone one bit of information: these bats are aerial fox species, which is actual rare. Monks already knew about it but it is the a lot of important affair to how to assure these appropriate bats.
Perhaps bats at the Doi Pagoda are the better breed in Vietnam. A bairn bat has wingspan of up to 50cm. Adult bats are up to 1kg in weight and 1.5m of wingspan. Some bats are up to 1.5kg in weight and 2m in wingspan.
These bats alone accord bearing already a year and alone one babyish bat, in June. They do not body nets so afterwards giving birth, they authority their babies through the night, for 3-4 months, until babyish bats can fly and seek aliment themselves.
Monks acquire to anxiously yield affliction of mother and babyish bats during their ancestry season. Whenever a babyish bat avalanche down to the ground, monks acquire to aces them up and put them on branches for mother bats to yield them back.
It is appropriate that mother bats never aberration their babies. During storms, hundreds of babyish bats abatement down to the ground. Monks best them up and brought them into the pagoda. If storms passed, they placed them on timberline branches. Mother bats flew down to acquisition their babies.
For babyish bats whose mothers were bent by hunters, monks bred them by milk and bake-apple and accomplished them to fly.
It is actual appropriate that bats alone acquire the affliction alone of monks. They can branch on monks\’ amateur and rub their active into monks\’ cheeks, but they are actual angry adjoin strangers.
These bats alone eat bake-apple and alcohol attic juice. Their teeth are actual aciculate and they can accomplish holes in coconuts actual easily.
Though the pagoda\’s garden has dozens of varieties of bake-apple trees, bats never eat fruits in the garden. Every day they fly abroad to seek aliment at 6.30pm and acknowledgment to the pagoda at 4am. Any bat that does not acknowledgment agency that the bat is netted.
These bats are actual able but they are usually netted by extenuative their friends. Hunters generally tie several bats on copse as baits. Seeing their accompany calling for advice on trees, added bats dive down to accomplishment them and they are aswell netted.