As being located on the left bank of Huong river, in the romantic Ha Khe hill,Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the most ancient and beautiful pagoda in Hue royal city, thick green trees, cool wind of four season.
Built in 1601, the Pagoda of Celestial Lady, which is the oldest, and the most beautiful in Hue, and with the Imperial City, is a must-see destination when you travel to this charming city. It is located 5 km west of Hue on Ha Khe Hill that is well known, according to Feng Shui, for its strategic position. History
According to legend, Lord Nguyen Hoang was appointed the Governor of the area that consists of some provinces such as Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien - Hue, and Quang Nam. He had researched the relief of Hue to prepare his career of extending the territory in the future. Riding the horse along the Perfume River, he found a hill overlooking the water flow. The masters of Feng Shui believed that this land can push success and national prosperity.
The locals told him that an old lady appeared every night on this hill, she had predicted that a lord would come, and erect a pagoda on the hill to pray for the country's prosperity. Thus, Nguyen Hoang built a pagoda named the Celestial Lady (Thien Mu) in 1601.
In 1862, King Tu Duc renamed the pagoda as Linh Mu because he wished that it would give him a chance to have a child. In fact, he was struck by smallpox when he was little, so the king was infertile despite having 103 concubines.
The pagoda was built in 1601 and then restored many times from the 17th to the 20th century. All the monuments are built on the top of the rectangular hill and surrounded by the stone wall in the shape of a turtle drinking water.
The architectural plan of the pagoda is different from others in Vietnam and closer with the royal palaces. Explore the pagoda
The triple gates
The triple gates (Tam Quan) are built of terracotta brick, and 8 tiled roofs, on a rectangular plan of 4.76 m x 13.6 m. The gates are divided by the walls, on which there are 6 statues of the Dharma protectors made of a mixture of clay, straw, paddy pale, and lacquered. Each genius has a different facial expression, and a different kind of weapon, reminding us to leave all the negative emotions before entering the pagoda. Dai Hung Shrine
Passing through the triple gates, the visitors will get to Dai Hung Shrine, which is the main shrine of the pagoda. Dai Hung means that the Buddha is the hero who has the power to dominate all demons. This shrine was constructed by traditional Vietnamese architecture with the double-eave hip roof.
It was last restored in 1959, except the rafters, and purlins by wood, all columns, trusses, pedestals… were built from concrete, then they were wood-like painted, but it is relatively similar to its original state. In the sanctuary is a statue of Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future, who is a bald monk with a rounded belly, very long earlobes, and a happy face. Made in 1677, the bell, made of bronze blade 1.6 m long, and 0.55 m wide, is a very old relic, carved with motifs of the sun, the moon, the stars.
Phuoc Duyen Tower
King Minh Mang wanted to erect the Phuoc Duyen Tower, in order to ward off evil spirits and strengthen the power of the capital, then King Thieu Tri fulfilled his father's wishes. This magnificent tower is 21 m long, with 7 octagonal floors, each of which is dedicated to the worship of a Buddha. On the 7th floor, there were a golden statue and silver cult objects, but unfortunately, the statue was stolen during the period from 1940 to 1942. The preparation started in 1841, but until 1844 this monument was under construction, and then inaugurated in 1845. The tower is a fusion of Chinese, and Champa architecture on the Vietnamese cultural base.
This tower is undoubtedly the symbol of the pagoda as well as the most cherished image of Hue city. How to get to the Pagoda of Celestial Lady?
Pagoda of Celestial Lady located about 5 km from the center of Hue, so the visitors have many choices to get there. It’s very easy to take a taxi or a Grab car, and you take roughly 10 minutes to go to the pagoda. Besides, riding a bike is another way to observe the activities, and lives of local people or enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of Hue.
In addition, the visitors can also choose to travel with a cruise on the Perfume River to immerse themselves in the romantic scene, go sightseeing in the city under the sunset. The journey takes approximately 2 hours, which starts from the Trang Tien Bridge, and passes through famous destinations, then stops at Thien Mu Pagoda.
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