One Pillar Pagoda has a unique architecture: a square wooden floor put on a stone pillar in the middle of the pond. Around the stone pillar, there is a system of curved ironwood bars to support the floor; thus, the entire structure looks like a lotus upright from the water.
The unique pagoda is located in the western part of the city, near Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Ong Ich Khiem St., Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. One Pillar Pagoda is a historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. As you visit Hanoi, you may come to various other monuments, parks and historical places. Yet, the One-Pillar Pagoda reflects the architectural splendor that the country has grown. One Pillar Pagoda or Dien Huu pagoda was built in 1049 by King Ly Thai Tong. Legend has it that King Ly Thai Tong (1028 – 1054) was old but he had no son. One night, the King dreamed about Buddha Quan Yin sitting on a lotus, carrying a boy and giving it to the king.
Shortly after, the queen gave birth to a son. The king built a lotus-shaped pagoda and named it Dien Huu Pagoda. The old pagoda was much larger than it is now; through the dynasties, One Pillar Pagoda was rebuilt several times; each restoration, the pagoda and the surrounding landscape was changed. When he woke up, he was advised by Thien Tue monk to build the pillar-based pagoda-like in his dream and topping it with the lotus of the Holy lady. Every year when it came to April 8th in the Lunar calendar, the King came to the pagoda for Buddha bathing ceremony and afterward, released a bird. In 1105, King Ly Nhan Tong extended the pagoda and added the Linh Chieu bond. However, the time has erased everything but the limited area like what we see now. One Pillar Pagoda has a unique architecture: a square wooden floor put on a stone pillar in the middle of the pond. Around the stone pillar, there is a system of curved ironwood bars to support the floor; thus, the entire structure looks like a lotus upright from the water. The current One Pillar Pagoda is only a part of the Dien Huu Pagoda architectural complex, which was a Buddhist architectural structure in front of the pagoda. Originally it was an octagonal stone pillar on the ground (the courtyard in front of the pagoda); the sides of the stone pillar were carved with Buddhist scriptures; the top of the pillar was a lotus and a statue of Guan Yin Buddha. The temple was renovated in 1105 by Emperor Lý Nhân Tông and a bell was cast and installation was attempted in 1109. However, the bell, which was regarded as one of the four major capital works of Vietnam at the time, was much too large and heavy, and could not be installed. Since it could not be tolled while left on the ground, it was moved into the countryside and deposited in farmland adjacent to Nhất Trụ Temple. This land was widely inhabited by turtles, so the bell came to be known as Quy Điền Chung, which means Bell of the Turtle Farmland.
At the start of the 15th century, Vietnam was invaded and occupied by the Ming Dynasty. In 1426, the future Emperor Lê Lợi attacked and dispersed the Chinese forces, and while the Ming were in retreat and low on weapons, their commanding general ordered that the bell be smelted, so that the copper could be used for manufacturing weaponry. As time went by, the pagoda succumbed to many ravages caused by the colonial powers. In 1954, the French Union forces destroyed the pagoda before withdrawing from Vietnam after the First Indochina War, and it was rebuilt afterward. After the temple was completed loyal followers flocked daily to give thanks and support to the emperor, praying to Quan Am for long and successful sovereignty. Today, the concrete pillar that supports the tiny wooden pagoda is a replacement for the original one which was blown up by the departing French, it remains unclear how much of the wooden temple is the original one. Another point of interest is a bo tree that grows behind the pagoda which the legend state is an offshoot of the one under which Buddha became enlightened - the tree was given as a gift from India in 1958. Before you leave the pagoda also take time to visit the Dien Huu Pagoda which is located close by in a courtyard full of exquisite bonsai trees. Appropriate attire should be worn if you are entering the temple; prayers take place continuously throughout the day. The pagoda now became one of the most meaningful symbols of Hanoi. What you see today of the pagoda is a new form recovered in 1955 when it was refurbished with a concrete pillar from its remnants by the Vietnamese government.
Today's structure can be just called the replica of the original pagoda, which was a large building. Locals believe that if you pray here, it will invoke well-being and prosperity. Praying at The One Pillar Pagoda is said to bring about blessings of fertility and health. The pagoda is open daily from 08:00 a.m to 05:00 p.m. Entrance is free. Remember to wear full-length clothes as you visit the One-Pillar Pagoda as well as other pagodas in the nation. One pillar pagoda is one of the most famous pagodas in Vietnam.
I want to show the world's travelers all the magnificence of its northern mountainous regions, the splendor of its bay of Ha Long, the noble beauty of the imperial city, and the sweetness of the banks of the Mekong River with its dotted delta floating villages.