Most Popular Vietnam temples from North to South
Don’t miss these top temples in Vietnam if you wish to visit a Buddhist temple to pray for peace or find a quiet location to soothe the mind and soul. With its numerous stunning and revered temples, Vietnam is a popular destination for spiritual travelers. Let’s find out more about these Vietnamese temples.
Tran Quoc Pagoda Hanoi
History Of Tran Quoc Pagoda
Under the rule of King Ly Nam De, it began to be built in 541 and was finished in 545. Its previous name was Khai Quoc Pagoda (Khai Quoc is Vietnamese for National Founder). It was initially constructed alongside the Red River. In the early 17th century, under the reign of King Le Kinh Tong, it was relocated to the Kim Ngu (Golden Fish) Islet after the river bank collapsed after more than 150 years. From that point forward, it was known as Tran Quoc (National Defense).
Architecture and Structure
Many Vietnamese kings used to like visiting Tran Quoc Pagoda during special occasions like the Tet holiday and full moon days because of its reputation as a spiritual sanctuary and beautiful landscape. Despite urbanization, the pagoda nevertheless retains its popularity and distinctive architectural features after more than a thousand years.
The pagoda draws a lot of visitors each day because of its prime location immediately next to the glittering West Lake and on an island that is connected by a bridge to the two most romantic lakes in Hanoi, namely West Lake and Truc Bach Lake.
The unique architecture of Tran Quoc is reminiscent of the old temples in Hanoi. It features a striking, multi-layered Buddist architectural image. Through the pagoda’s three main homes, you can view it plainly. There are three main houses; why? because in Vietnamese culture, the number three is a lucky and prosperous number.
One distinctive feature of the pagoda is its entryway. From a distance, the gate appears to be deflected, yet up close, there is absolutely no indication of that.
Going through the gate, you need to follow the way which is paved with red brick to see the interior space.
- Tien Duong (the Front House) is located in front of the bell tower and faces the west. In front of the Front House, there is an incense burner in the yard so the Buddhists and tourists can thurify.
- Nha To (the Ancestor House) is on the right of Tien Duong, worshipping the previous generation of monks.
- Nha Bia (the Stele House) is on the left of Tien Duong, holding 14 important steles engraved from 1813 to 1815. It shows the renovating process of the pagoda after a long time in ruin.
The pagoda resembles a flowering lotus due to the connection between the three main homes. One could say that the Tran Quoc pagoda is a tasteful fusion of the tranquil atmosphere of a green garden, remote lake, and old and majestic architecture. Because of its cultural and historical significance, the Ministry of Culture and Information designated it as a national monument in 1962.
Highlights of Tran Quoc Pagoda
Visitors who are strolling through gardens get the opportunity to view the revered Bodhi Tree with its heart-shaped leaves. Rajendra Prasad, the President of India at the time, gave the tree to the temple in 1959. Many people think that the Buddha attained enlightenment on a branch of the revered bodhi tree. That is why visitors and pilgrims from all over the world come here to venerate this monument.
In addition, Tran Quoc Pagoda still has a system of statues that is largely intact. One could say that Tran Quoc is a little museum that houses precious artifacts. The majority of them, including some adoring sculptures in the front home, date back hundreds of years. Especially noteworthy are the statues of the Three Sages and the pagoda’s ancestor monks. The most notable one is the statue of Buddha entering Nirvana (also known as the Reclining Buddha and “Thich ca thap niet ban” in Vietnamese). His statues are more frequently found in Thailand or Laos than in the north. The statue is regarded as being the most beautiful in all of Vietnam.
Tran Quoc Pagoda was cited frequently in poetry and parallel sentences of Vietnamese kings and mandarins, particularly during the Nguyen Dynasty, because of its lovely and serene surroundings. Numerous poems have been kept in the pagoda up to this point. You will have the opportunity to learn about historical Vietnamese literature as well as the history of the nation.
Not mentioning “Bao Thap Luc Do Dai Sen” would be a mistake. It is 15 meters tall and has eleven stories. It was constructed in 1998, and each story features a statue and six arched doors. The statues are crafted of priceless stones and resemble Buddha Amitabha. The “Cuu Pham Lien Hoan” is the name of the nine-story lotus that sits atop the tower.
Vietnam is surely a must-visit country for those who are highly interested in spiritual attractions. If you have a chance to set foot in this beautiful country, don’t miss the chance to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda – the oldest temple in the north of Vietnam.
Cao Dai Temple, Tay Ninh
The Cao Dai Temple’s construction was completed in 1955. All religions, according to Caodists, are the same and aim to spread tolerance around the world. At this temple, people venerate the Lord Buddha, Muhammad and Confucius, Jesus Christ, Joan of Arc, and Julius Caesar.
One of the biggest attractions of visiting this temple is seeing Caodiasts pray. For lay followers, they must wear long, flowing white robes; for priests, they must wear garments in yellow, blue, or red. When worship is conducted, men sit on the right, women on the left, and all followers sit in neat rows.
History of Cao Dai Temple
Construction on Cao Dai Temple, also known as Tay Ninh Holy See, began in 1933 and was formally opened in 1955. It is a unique Caodai religious work that is situated in Hoa Thanh District, about 4 kilometers from Tay Ninh City. Caodaism was founded in Southern Vietnam around the beginning of the 1920s, although it wasn’t formally formalized until 1926. It is the third-largest religion in Vietnam and incorporates aspects from Islam, Taoism, Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, and Taoism. There are currently thought to be up to 3 million supporters nationwide, primarily concentrated in South Vietnam’s 38 provinces and cities.
Cao Dai Temple’s Architecture
Cao Dai Temple’s architecture in and of itself is fascinating. The structure blends Neo-Gothic, Baroque, and Oriental styles. It is extremely ornately designed, with dragon-wrapped pillars, seven-headed cobras, and sky blue ceilings.
Cao Dai Temple has 12 gates, each of which is embellished with statues of four Asian religious animals and lotuses. With the words “Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do” written in both Vietnamese and Chinese, the main entryway is the biggest. Only on special occasions is this gate opened to receive visiting heads of state or religious figures.
Around the site, a large road connects around architectural structures. You will pass through Buddha statues and lush gardens as you make your way through a large courtyard before you arrive at the Great Temple, one of the most impressive structures. With three 36-meter towers and two 25-meter pavilions that house steeples and drums, it is 97 meters long and 22 meters broad. The Cao Dai Sect’s architectural specifications were followed in the construction of the Great Temple. The building is a tasteful combination of Asian and European design, with domes and ornaments capturing the essence of the area. The “Nine Fairy Levels” are nine levels that make up the temple’s floor.
The “Nine Fairy Levels” are nine levels that make up the temple’s floor. Sky-blue with fluffy clouds are painted on the tall dome ceiling. A sizable orb with the Divine Eye on it and 3,027 stars surrounding it stands at the temple’s far end as a representation of the universe.
What to see in Cao Dai Temple
One of the great joys of visiting the temple, in addition to its distinctive architecture, is seeing Caodaism prayer. Men with the status of priest and higher have vividly colored robes indicating their personal spiritual affiliation, such as yellow for Buddhism, blue for Taoism, or red for Confucianism. Most worshippers wear spotless white robes. The Divine Eye is imprinted on the headpieces of both bishops and cardinals. During worship, men and women are seated in separate rows, with men on the right and women on the left.
Four times a day, at 6:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 6:00 PM, and midnight, ritual prayers are held. The event at midday is appropriate for Ho Chi Minh City daytrip guests to view. Female visitors will enter the temple from the left side through a door at the base, then circle the colonnaded hall in a clockwise direction. Men will enter from the right side of the hall and march counterclockwise around it. You are permitted to photograph the prayer sessions while you are there from the upstairs balcony, but only with the priests’ permission. Keep in mind that you may not have authorization to take pictures in some locations.
Additionally, the Duc Chi Ton Great Ceremony and Dieu Tri Kim Mau Festivals, which are conducted in the Cao Dai temple on the ninth day of January and the fifteenth day of August of the lunar calendar, respectively, are two of the biggest annual festivals. The two main festivals of the Cao Dai Temple are and the full moon day of the eighth lunar month. On these occasions, the holy land of the South welcomes thousands of devotees and guests from throughout the nation who come to take in the joyful mood.
Bai Dinh Pagoda (Ninh Binh)
The Bai Dinh pagoda is well known for its impressive grandeur and stature. With 500 stone statues of the Buddha that are taller than a person’s head, the pagoda will also break a record for having the most in ASEAN.
Highlights of Bai Dinh Pagoda
It is challenging to visualize the site’s grandeur and solemnness as a pagoda in the real sense of the word as per tradition because it is hidden behind a range of limestone mountains in Gia Sinh Commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province. But anyone who visits it once can sense its enormous size and overwhelming nature. Its back is pressed up against the 200-meter-tall Bai Dinh Mountain.
The construction site for the Ba Dinh Pagoda is an 80-hectare region that is part of the Trang An Tourism region’s “Bai Dinh Pagoda hallowed culture” mass. There are numerous additional structures inside the pagoda, such as the Tam The (Past, Present, and Future) Temple, Sanctuary, a statue of the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin, Dharma Temple, Bell Tower, Three-door Temple Gate, Buddhist Monk Dormitory, etc. A large semicircular lake is being created in front of the Pagoda Valley by a hundred bulldozers, excavators, and power shovels, and the water will be taken from the river crossing to create a landscape of “on shore and under boat” like the Yen Stream flowing beneath the foot of Huong Tich Pagoda.
Tam The Temple and Dharma Temple continue to be these great religious works’ most significant emphasizing points. The combined area of two temples can reach 1.000 m2 (the main sanctuary of traditional pagodas can only be as large as 150 m2 due to compartments that are determined by the length of wood beams). The Dharma Temple stands up to 22 meters tall and has four world-record-breaking statues within.
Four sculptures several bronze Tam The “Owners” of Bai Dinh Pagoda are proud of the sculptures and one large statue of Great Buddha Sakyamuni. Each Tam The statue weighs 50 tons and is 12 meters high. The Great Buddha Sakyamuni statue is 16 meters high and weighs 100 tons. Both statues were cast using pure bronze that was purchased from Russia and placed by renowned bronze statue artisans in Y Yen, Nam Dinh. On the route to the main church, a “great bell” that weighed 60 tons was cast and placed on a hill. The Great Bell is so large that it is estimated that in order to sound it, a large log of wood and four pullers are required.
The “collection” of 500 Arhat statues on the slope to the right of Dharma Temple is the most astounding. The 500 Arhat statues, each standing 2.3 meters tall and fashioned from stone in Ninh Binh. According to the site supervisor in charge of overseeing construction, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Truong investor and his collaborator traveled to China to learn and brought back sample drawings of 500 Arhat’s legend for painters and carvers to create the sample statues out of gypsum. The artisans then carved the statues out of monolithic green stone once more. Gia Vien District residents made light of the fact that the villagers in Ninh Van’s stone-carving village of Hoa Lu (a neighboring district) have had enough job security for the past two years by just carving enough of these 500 Arhat sculptures.
Despite the fact that Bai Dinh Pagoda’s construction is still ongoing, its reputation is well-known. Visitors have arrived to burn incense before the bronze Buddha statues that are still protected by scaffolding after receiving some information from the backstage “whisper in each other’s ears” crowd. A modest three-door temple entrance located next to the roadside can be seen by onlookers even though it is 2 kilometers away from the huge complex. Through the three-door temple gate, turn up the tiny, sloping route, and climb to the summit of the mountain to witness the Bai Dinh Pagoda (ancient), which is silent and covered with green moss. There is very little information on the “Great Buddhist Pagoda” that will establish Asean’s execution record at that location. The Bai Dinh Pagoda Mountain, which is ecologically and historically significant, was designated a cultural and historical heritage site in 1997. After it is finished in 2010, Bai Dinh Pagoda will be the biggest religious tourism destination in Vietnam as Thang Long Hanoi celebrates its 1,000th anniversary.
As a great historical relics, Bai Dinh Pagoda cherishes both: enchanting scenery and deep history. Let’s give you a chance to enjoy the beauty…
Temple of Literature Hanoi
Aside from the sheer number of motorbikes on the roads, another thing that strikes visitors to Hanoi, the former capital of Vietnam, is how busy and packed the city appears to be.
Almost any traveler can be charmed by Hanoi’s boundless grandeur, history, and enchanted legends. This city is home to a treasure with historical imprints, the Temple of Literature, which was regarded as the first national university. It is interwoven with secret attractions of tranquility and tranquillity.
When you come here, you’ll realize the city’s center still has a tranquil spot.
Emperor Ly Thanh Tong established the Temple of Literature in 1070 as a temple to honor the Chinese philosopher Confucius. It is situated to the south of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.
His son founded the Imperial Academy in 1076 as a royal school for only the aristocracy, including princes, nobles, and officials.
The Imperial Academy, which was regarded as Vietnam’s first university, was open for about 700 years and produced a large number of eminent academics and government officials. The Temple of Literature maintained its priceless architectural and cultural value despite ongoing wars and catastrophes.
Five courtyards in various designs make up the over 54000 square meter Temple of Literature, which is encircled by an old brick wall. There are various key components that make up the entire area, which are broken down below.
The First Courtyard – Đại Trung Môn
You leave the bustle of Hanoi and enter a space of varied colors of green after crossing the large gate of the first courtyard (the Great Middle Gate).
The gates on the left and right are referred to as Virtue Gate and Talent Gate, respectively, which represented the King’s desire that students will pursue higher education in this country.
You might observe that the gate’s top suddenly bears the image of a fish. According to legend, God hosts an annual tournament for fish, and the one that can cross the waterfall’s opposite bank while dodging the heaviest waves will be changed into a mighty dragon.
That fish actually represents a pupil. He can only become knowledgeable and smart enough to pass all the examinations and become a government official by studying diligently and never giving up.
Students back then learned everything there was to know about Confucius, Chinese literature, and culture. There were three rounds: the regional examination (Hng examination), the national examination (Hi examination), and the royal examination (nh examination), which was held a year after the other two. If a person lacked the necessary talent or luck, he would have to wait three years before sitting for the exam.
The Second Courtyard – Khuê Văn Các
Khue Van Cac, the Pavilion of Constellation, is a well-known image that appears on the reverse of the 100,000 Vietnam dong banknote and serves as a symbol of Hanoi. Four white-washed stone stilts were used in the 1805 construction of this distinctive architectural piece.
The brightest star in the sky is called Khue, and the entire constellation resembles the Chinese character for “literature”. It suggested a desire for a successful and advanced educational system. A thousand-year-old bronze bell that hangs from the roof inside the courtyard is only rung on lucky days.
The Third Courtyard – Thien Quang Well
The Well of Heavenly Clarity is another name for the third square courtyard.
Is this oddly shaped well square? The square on top of the pavilion stands in for the ground, and the circle at its apex represents the sky. Together, these two elements formed harmony. This well serves as a mirror, capturing the divine energy of the cosmos.
More importantly, the well not only enabled students dress and see themselves before entering the sacred inner area, it also preserved the Temple of Literature’s serene environment.
Only 82 of the original 116 stelae are still standing today due to wars. We learned about the dynasty’s architectural style from the size and shape of the turtles.
Turtles, why? The dragon, unicorn, turtle, and phoenix are the four holy animals in Vietnamese culture; the turtle is the only actual one. In addition to being familiar with Vietnamese culture, Turtle also represents longevity and wisdom via the people it carries on its back—successful individuals and knowledge.
The Fourth Courtyard – Đại Thành Môn
The beautiful House of Ceremonies and the sanctuary to Confucius are located in the fourth courtyard, which is known as the “gate to great success” in Vietnamese. This courtyard is distinctive within the complex due to its crimson columns and wood beam ceilings from which antique-style lanterns hang.
There is a standard altar in the center of the sanctuary, one that may be found in any Vietnamese family’s home. The most sacred and central area of the home, where ancestors are worshipped, is always where the altar is placed. The altar must contain the five basic elements of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth, as well as offerings and the aroma of incense.
Do not neglect to learn more about what exhibits those elements when you visit this courtyard!
On each side of the altar, there is a pair of crane and turtle. They are considered to be good friends and present a desire for harmony and eternity.
The Fifth Courtyard The Grounds of Imperial Academy
The fifth courtyard has two levels. The first rector of the Imperia Academy and a brilliant teacher named Chu Văn An, whose life was dedicated to Vietnamese education, is commemorated by a statue on the ground level. Additionally, there exist images and artifacts documenting Confucian schooling at the time in Vietnam.
The three kings who had the greatest impact on the establishment of the temple and the academy were worshipped on the upper floor. They were Lê Thánh Tông, who founded the temple in 1070, Lê Nhân Tông, who established the Imperial Academy, and Lê Thánh Tông, who in 1484 gave the order for the construction of the stone turtles and the Stelae of Doctor.
Not only does Hanoi open a space for you to relax, but also a chance to understand more about Vietnam. Don’t forget to comment below and share your experience if you have been to this wonderful place!
Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue
Thien Mu pagoda in the historic Hue city is a religious monument in Hue, Vietnam, that draws travelers in with its stunning and historic architectural structures of devotion.
Where is Thien Mu Pagoda Located?
One of the most intriguing and historic pagodas in Hue city is Thien Mu Pagoda (specifically Heaven Fairy Lady Pagoda), also called Linh Mu Pagoda. It is easily accessible from the city center and is located on Ha Khe hill in Huong Long village, on the north bank of the Perfume River, 5 kilometers from Hue.
The pagoda’s name comes from a unique legend. Long ago, an old woman who predicted the arrival of a Lord and the construction of a Buddhist pagoda for the prosperity of the nation appeared on the hill where the pagoda now sits. Therefore, Lord Nguyen Hoang gave the order to build the pagoda known as the “Heaven Fairy Lady,” or Thiên M in Vietnamese (also known as Linh M). The pagoda has drawn many travelers from within and outside of the country to come and investigate the mystery for themselves because of its intriguing past.
Highlights of Thien Mu Pagoda
Formation and Growth
The stunning pagoda was constructed around 1601. Later, the pagoda was repaired by numerous Nguyen Dynasty rulers, including Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri, and Thanh Thai. Hoang was at the time the governor of the province of Thuan Hoa, which is now known as Hue, but he had just begun to rule his own independent state in central Vietnam. The royal chronicles state that Hoang passed by the hill where the Thien Mu Pagoda currently stands while on a vacation and sightseeing excursion to think about the nearby seas and mountains. He had the pagoda built after learning about the aforementioned local folklore. The first temple was built with relatively basic materials, but throughout time, it was expanded and reconstructed with more complex elements.
A Special Architectural Site
Phuoc Duyen tower, the pagoda’s most conspicuous feature and former name for Tu Nhan tower, was built in 1884 by King Thieu Tri and has since come to represent Hue informally. The seven floor, 2-meter-tall octagonal tower is devoted to a Buddha who manifested as a person. Due to its iconic prominence and link with the city of Hue, it is the highest stupa in Vietnam and frequently the subject of cadao and folk rhymes about the city. It is recognized as the unofficial emblem of the previous imperial capital, which is more significant.
A large bell is protected by a pavilion that is located to the left of the tower. In 1710, Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu cast the bell, which is known as Dai Hong Chung. It is renowned for its enormous size, standing 2.5 meters tall and weighing 3,285 kilograms. It is regarded as an exceptional bronze casting accomplishment from the 18th century.
A pavillion to the right of the tower houses a stela from 1715. It stands 2.58 m tall and is mounted on the shell of a huge marble turtle, which is a representation of longevity.
In addition, the pagoda contains a number of well-known pieces of art that greatly fascinate visitors. For instance, the main hall of the Dai Hung shrine, which boasts stunning architecture. It protects various priceless artifacts, including a bronze gong that was cast in 1677 and a hardwood board that was gold-plated and inscribed with Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu’s inscriptions in 1714.
Historical Role of Thien Mu Pagoda
Thien Mu Pagoda has tremendous historical significance in addition to its architectural worth, which attracts visitors. Like many other South Vietnamese pagodas, Thien Mu Pagoda experienced a flurry of anti-government protest during the summer of 1963. The president Ngo Dinh Diem’s reign had long been unpopular with South Vietnam’s Buddhist majority since his accession to power in 1955. In the military, the public sector, and the distribution of government funds, Diem had exhibited blatant favoritism towards Catholics and prejudice against Buddhists. Nine Buddhists were murdered by Diem’s troops and police on Vesak, the birthday of Gautama Buddha, in Hue during the summer of 1963, sparking a massive uprising.
As a result, Buddhist protests spread throughout the nation and rapidly increased in magnitude. At that time in history, Thien Mu Pagoda served as a key hub for organizing the Buddhist movement and frequently served as the site of rallies, barricades, and hunger strikes.
The pagoda is currently surrounded with flowers and decorative plants. A serene and lovely pine-tree forest may be found at the far end of the garden. It is extremely well-kept and warmly friendly to all guests.
Jade Emperor Pagoda
If you ever get the chance to travel to Ho Chi Minh City, which is known for its vibrant and contemporary beauty, you’ll be astonished to see the Jade Emperor Pagoda, a 100-year-old pagoda hidden among tall structures in the middle of a busy business district.
It is referred to as Chùa Ngc Hoàng (also known as Phc Hi T) in Vietnamese. The pagoda, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ho Chi Minh City, is a well-known religious monument for both domestic and international visitors.
History of Jade Emperor Pagoda
Early in the 20th century, a Chinese man by the name of Luu Minh moved from China to Vietnam to reside and do business. He then constructed the Jade Emperor Pagoda. He desired to build a pagoda to worship Buddha and the Jade Pagoda since he was a follower of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
Thich Vinh Khuong, a powerful Buddhist monk, assumed control of the pagoda in 1982. The Vietnam Buddhist Association has since claimed ownership of the pagoda as a result.
Jade Emperor Pagoda’s name was changed to Phuoc Hai Tu in 1984. Nevertheless, the center room is still referred to as the “Jade Emperor Pagoda” in accordance with Chinese religious tradition.
In the years 1943, 1958, 1985, and 1986, the Jade Emperor Pagoda had four restorations.
The pagoda received national recognition as a significant artistic and architectural site in 1994.
President Barack Obama paid the Jade Emperor Pagoda a visit in 2016 as a mark of honor.
Legend of Jade Emperor Pagoda
According to popular belief, the Jade Emperor is the greatest god who rules over and oversees everything in heaven and on earth. He is qualified to determine the fate of people. The Jade Emperor is aided in his rule by numerous other gods.
The Jade Emperor Pagoda is known for its ability to reproduce. In Kim Hoa Thanh Mau and 12 midwives’ place of worship, husband and wife pairs who are childless frequently offer heartfelt prayers. Goddess Kim Hoa Thanh Mau looks after the fertilization of the earth.
A red thread is tied around the wrist of visitors who come to this unearthly pagoda to pray for children. They must pray and hang that thread from the statue to the right if they want a boy. They hang it on the statue to the left if they want a daughter. They then rub their stomachs three times and the statue of children underneath the midwives’ feet three times. They then rub their stomachs three more times. If their wishes come true, they must purchase fresh flowers, fruits, and incense before visiting the pagoda to express their appreciation to the goddess.
Visitors also pray for good chances in love. People believe that only by burning incenses, saying your name and your beloved’s name, and touching the matchmaker statue, your wish will come true.
Meanwhile, in the central chamber which worships Jade Emperor, a lot of people gather and pray for their health, career, business,…with reverent and solemn gestures.
Highlights of Jade Emperor Pagoda
People used to frequently prepare a large number of offerings to worship and pray to the Jade Emperor on January 9 (according to the Lunar Calendar) in order to thank him for his blessings on their success, happiness, and health.
Even in modern times, people still follow ancient customs, visit pagodas, and offer prayers to the gods on holy days like the first and fifteenth of every month, the lunar new year, the birthday of the Buddha, and mid-autumn.
Jade Emperor Pagoda is an old large pagoda with an area of 2300 square meters, which makes a comfortable space for everyone to walk and visit.
The pagoda has an astonishing design that is based on Chinese religious architecture, and it has many beautiful pictures and walls that are exquisitely adorned. The Yin-Yang tiles on the roof are all different colors. On the roof and gables, there are a few statues.
There is a little shrine with a guardian statue in front of the pagoda. Outstanding with meandering lines that resemble the shape of waves is the three-door temple gate.
People are free to seek out a calm existence in the turtle tank and fish tank on the right in the middle of the yard.
Numerous altars, statues, and paintings have been created using a variety of materials, including cardboard, porcelain, and wood. About 300 figurines total, including 100 made of cartridge paper, are housed in the pagoda and depict the meeting of the genies and the Jade Emperor.
Three halls make up the Jade Emperor Pagoda: the entrance hall, middle hall, and main hall. A Buddha statue can be found in the front hall. When entering the pagoda, visitors frequently light incense and make wishes.
On either side of the main hall are two wooden statues of general gods who can tame tigers and dragons. Many people come here to pray and perform acts of adoration for the Jade Emperor.
In addition, there are 12 midwives and the altar of Kim Hoa Thanh Mau. The reason this place is the busiest is because so many people go there to pray for children. The statue of Quan Am is placed in a serious posture to the right of the main hall.
Perfume Pagoda (Chùa Hương) – “The First Ranking Southern Grotto”
Perfume Pagoda is one of the biggest and most distinctive religious structures in Huong Son Commune, My Duc District, old Ha Tay (or larger Hanoi), right banks of Day River, northern Viet Nam, located about 60 kilometers southwest of Hanoi. One of the most well-known pagodas and temples in Vietnam is this one.
The Perfume Mount (Hng Sn) complex consists of a collection of pagodas and Buddhist temples strewn around the mountainside and up to the summit. The hub of the complex is located inside Pagoda, also known as Huong Tich Cavern.
During the Perfume Pagoda festival, which runs from the middle of the first lunar month until the middle of the third (or from February to March), a large number of pilgrims visit the location to offer prayers for happiness and success in the upcoming year. Additionally, it is a very popular venue for young couples to connect and for many nascent romances to develop. Numerous traditional cultural activities are included for this unique day. In addition to being a religious landmark, Vietnam’s Perfume Pagoda is a fantastic tourist destination.
Coming to Huong Pagoda, what should not be left home is a good camera, since you will regret unless you catch all the snapshots of this fascinating nature drawings!
What to Do at Perfume Pagoda?
Duc Pier (Bến Đục)
Ben Duc (Pier Duc) serves as the pilgrimage’s very first beginning point. The typical travel time between Hanoi and Ben Duc is more over two hours. Ben Duc is overflowing with tens of thousands of row boats used to ferry tourists during the months of the yearly festival. This one-hour boat ride on the Yen Vi Stream from Pier Duc is actually the highlight of the trip for many tourists and served as the inspiration for many well-known poets.
Yen Stream (Suối Yến)
Three kilometers of the Yen stream are located between two mountains. However, when relaxing on the boat and taking in the scenery, you could feel as though the stream never ends. Despite a road that makes it easier to go from Pier Duc to Perfume Mountain, most visitors opt to travel to Huong Pagoda by rowing boats on Yen Vi Stream (also known as Yen Stream).
Visitors pass via a breathtaking landscape of burning green rice paddles punctuated with jagged limestone climbs to the base of Huong Mountain while traveling down Yen Stream. The Phoenix Mountain and Doi Cheo Mountain, which resembles an Indian serpent, may be seen clearly if you are on a boat there (Tran). Bung and Voi, the two mountains connected to intriguing mythology, are also on the left. Ngu Nhac Mountain is on your right, and the Trinh Temple is where people pause to offer incense to the Mountain God. The boat also goes through the Deo and Phong Su Mountains, Son Thuy Huu Tinh Cave, Trau Cave, Hoi Bridge, and Dau Valley before arriving at Tro Wharf, where the tour starts.
Thien Tru Pagoda (Chùa Thiên Trù)
As you move further inland, you’ll notice an intriguing unofficial tourist procedure! Den Trinh, which translates as “registration shrine,” must always be visited before ascending Huong Mount. The Thien Tru Pagoda, also known as Chuà Ngoài Outer Pagoda, was constructed in the 18th century during the reign of King Le Thanh Tong.
The name “Thien Tru” (which translates to “heaven kitchen”) comes from the inhabitants’ idea that the area’s rock formations resemble busy chefs in the kitchen. The granite monolith known as Thuy Tien tower may be found at Thien Tru Pagoda. On the right is Tien Son grotto, popular for five granite statues and various formations on the walls of the cave. Coming here, pilgrims have chances to admire the pagoda’s beauty and wonderful local landscapes.
Huong Tich Grotto (Động Hương Tích)
After spending more than an hour by the stream and viewing the earliest historic pagodas from the riverbank, pilgrims would now have to climb hundreds of stone stairs up and down to reach Huong Tich Grotto, which is named after the Vietnamese phrase for “traces of fragrance.”
The route to Huong Tich meanders through awe-inspiringly lush surroundings. The most revered Van Thuy Thien Tran Dao Vien Quang Chan Nhan, the Chief monk of Thien Tru Pagoda, was instrumental in bringing the moss-covered Huong Tich Grotto to life.
Stone stairs are located in front of the cave. Visitors can read the inscription “The first-ranking grotto under the Southern Sky” in Han scripts, which is a remnant of Lord Tinh Do Vuong Trinh Sam’s calligraphy from the third lunar month of the Tiger year (Canh Dan -1770), as they descend the 120 steps.
As you enter the grotto, you’ll experience a calm ambiance with low lighting before spotting natural architectural wonders including the Girl and Boy Mountains (shaped like a girl and a boy) and Dun Gao (Rice) rock. What is significant, however, is the 1.24-meter bronze bell that was cast in the third Thinh Duc Year (1655) and the figure of Avalokitesvara that was cut out of emerald stone and placed atop a rocky lotus in 1793, during the Tay Son dynasty. The Huong Pagoda complex is the most popular tourist destination in Ha Tay, drawing both visitors and Buddhists alike thanks to its distinctive carvings and the surrounding, breathtaking natural wonders.
After bidding farewell to the Perfume Grotto, visitors can either continue their journey by ascending hundreds of stone steps that have been smoothed by the passage of countless feet to the top of the Mount, or they can take a short break and finish the trip.
These days, the Vietnamese believe that Huong Son is Buddha’s Heaven due to its sacredness and 100% natural works of beauty. Quite a few tourists would like to come back this mysterious and sacred mountain annually for religious reasons on the one hand, and on the other hand, for the enchanting natural landscapes.
One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi
Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, is renowned for its mouthwatering street food as well as a wealth of ancient historical and cultural landmarks. One of them is the One Pillar Pagoda, a distinctive and singular architectural landmark and historical site (also known as the Mot Cot Pagoda or Chua Mot Cot). Due to its architectural beauty, which is a characteristic of a renowned historical dynasty in Vietnam, it is regarded as a symbol of the city of Hanoi, which has a thousand years of civilization.
One Pillar Pagoda History
One Pillar Pagoda, as known as Dien Huu pagoda or Lien Hoa Dai, was built in 1049 by Ly Thai Tong (1028-1054), a king of Ly’s dynasty. Its name means “long happiness and prosperity”. In Vietnamese language, One Pillar Pagoda is called Nhat Tru Thap.
The monarch was ancient and childless, according to folklore. He used to visit pagodas every day to ask Buddha for a son. He had a dream one night that Quan Am Bo Tat was giving birth to him while seated on the lotus pond, which was illuminated by beautiful halos. The monarch informed his subjects of this when he awoke. A prince was born to the queen a short while afterwards. The king was at the pinnacle of his power. To express his sincere gratitude to Quan Am Bo Tat, he chose to build a pagoda with just one pillar that was designed to mimic a massive lotus blossom.
In addition to renovating and enlarging the pagoda, King Ly Nhan Tong also created Linh Chieu Lake.
When French colonialists demolished the One Pillar Pagoda in 1954, only the pillar and a few wooden beams were left standing.
The pagoda was rebuilt and protected in its current condition by the local authorities in 1955.
The One Pillar Pagoda Complex was named a National Historic Treasure in 1962 and “The Pagoda with the Most Unique Architecture in Asia” by the Asia Record Organization in Faridabad (India) on October 10, 2012.
One Pillar Pagoda Architecture
A typical Hanoi destination for cultural and spiritual emblems of Vietnam’s capital is the One Pillar pagoda.
The entire temple is supported by a solitary stone pillar, which gives it an unusual architectural style. And the One Pillar Pagoda is said to stand for itself with a lotus.
The pagoda is unlike any other in Vietnam, in fact. A roof and one pillar, Lien Hoa Dai, make up the pagoda’s structure. The stone pillar is 1.2 meters in diameter and 4 meters in height (excluding the portion submerged inland) and is made of two small blocks that are expertly arranged.
There are eight wooden beams that resemble eight flowers above the pillar. They are the system of wooden slats that support the pagoda, which is stable as a rock and is supported by a sturdy structure made of them.
A wooden square construction with three meters on each side is called Lien Hoa Dai. Four curved roofs in the form of four dragon heads are present. The diameter of each roof is 1.25 meters. Traditional red and mossy tiles, which exhibit the meticulousness of the artist, cover the pagoda’s roof.
It is situated in the center of the lotus pond, 20 meters on each side, and is surrounded by four low walls. You must ascend a stairway with thirteen side steps, two sides of a brick-tiled wall, and a stone stele describing the pagoda’s history in order to reach the top floor of the structure.
The Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva statue (Quan Thế Âm Bồ Tát) is located at the top of the pagoda, seated on a wooden and red-lacquered throne. The beautifully decorated worshipping items, such as a few pot flower vases, thuribles, candles, etc., produce a somber religious atmosphere.
Special Meaning behind the Architecture
The pagoda is located among the collections of Ho Chi Minh artifacts that draw several tourists each year. The One Pillar Pagoda’s all-laid-on-a-pillar unique feature is a harmonious fusion of amazing concepts and architectural perfection. Additionally, it is crammed with philosophical undertones.
The square pond symbolizes the law and Yin, while the round pillar represents the sky and Yang, illustrating the universal law of circulation.
One Pillar Pagoda appears to be a lotus blossom emerging from the water when viewed from a distance. The delicate beauty of the lotus is a representation of Vietnamese people’s intelligence, high personalities, and straightforward virtue.
This familiar symbol of Hanoi appears in a lot of newspapers, books as well as educational programs. It has also appeared in the 5,000 Coin Vietnamese dong in the past.
Activities at One Pillar Pagoda
- Comtemplate Asia’s most unique architectural monument.
- Pray for a happy and lucky life, successful career and especially children
- Take stunning photos of a bodhi tree a gift of Indian president Rajendra Prasad to Ho Chi Minh President on the occassion of the President’s visit to India.
- Capture the most outstanding moment in one of the most sacred pagodas in Hanoi.
If you have an opportunity to explore Hanoi as well as learn Vietnam culture, don’t miss this wonderful place. Don’t hesitate to comment below and share your emotions and truthful experience after visiting this site.