Visit Tran Quoc Pagoda - the most beautiful sacred ancient pagoda in Vietnam

2023 June 22
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Address: Thanh Nien Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi

Located in the east of West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda with the age of more than 1500 years is the oldest and most sacred temple in Hanoi. Once the Buddhist center of Thang Long under the Ly - Tran dynasties, Tran Quoc Pagoda has now become an attractive spiritual destination of the capital, attracting a large number of tourists to visit and worship each year. In particular, in 2016, Tran Quoc Pagoda was in the list of 16 most beautiful temples in the world voted by the British Daily Mail.

With its desirable location, lengthy history, and distinctive architecture, Tran Quoc Pagoda has grown to be a popular stop for excursions and city explorations. Visitors can come here to worship Buddha, make pilgrimages, or offer prayers for good fortune and serenity in addition to taking in the stunning environment.

Tran Quoc Pagoda - The Oldest Pagoda In Hanoi - Culture Pham Travel

                                                                                            Tran Quoc Pagoda - The oldest pagoda in Hanoi

1. History

Tran Quoc Pagoda was originally named Khai Quoc Pagoda, built in 541 in the Early Ly Dynasty. At that time, the pagoda was located near the banks of the Red River, so when the dyke collapsed in 1615 (in the reign of King Le Trung Hung), the pagoda was moved to the inside of Yen Phu dyke in the Kim Nguu mound area. Then, in the 17th century, Lord Trinh built Co Ngu dike (now Thanh Nien street) to connect with Kim Nguu island. The pagoda changed its name to Tran Quoc Pagoda during the reign of King Le Hy Tong (1681 - 1705) with the meaning that this would be a place to help people dispel natural disasters and bring a peaceful life to the people.

In the past, Tran Quoc Pagoda was the Buddhist center of Thang Long citadel. The Ly and Tran kings often visited and worshiped on holidays and Tet at the temple, so many palaces were built to serve the king's rest: Thuy Hoa palace, Ham Nguyen palace.

Tham quan chùa Trấn Quốc - Cổ tự ngàn năm tuổi bên hồ Tây

                                                                                                      The entrance of Tran Quoc pagoda

2. Architecture

The pagoda is located on an island east of West Lake, nestled silently on the busy Thanh Nien street. As an ancient temple built a long time ago, Tran Quoc Pagoda has undergone many restorations, the appearance has changed, the size and architecture of the temple is now the result of a major restoration in 1815. The total area of ​​the pagoda is more than 3000m2, including tower garden, ancestral house and upper hall.

Chùa Trấn Quốc - ngôi chùa cổ linh thiêng đẹp nhất Việt Nam

                                                                                      Tran Quoc Pagoda is located on an island east of West Lake

The pagoda belongs to the Northern sect with the structure and architecture according to the strict principles of Buddhism, including 3 main houses: the front hall, the incense burning house and the upper hall connected together into the shape of the word Cong (工).

The front house faces the west, behind is the house of the Three Jewels. Two corridors are located on both sides of the incense burning house and the Upper Palace. Behind the Upper Palace is the bell tower located on the main hall axis with the architecture of three compartments with a roof stacked with matches. The ancestral house is located to the left of the Upper Palace and to the left is the stele house, which still preserves 14 steles with many historical and cultural values.

Tham quan chùa Trấn Quốc - Cổ tự ngàn năm tuổi bên hồ Tây

                                                                                                        The main hall of Tran Quoc Pagoda

In 1998, the hexagonal lotus-shaped Bao Thap was built, and in 2003 it was completed to form the temple's tower garden. The tower is 15m high, including 11 floors. On each floor of the tower, there is a white precious stone Amitabha Buddha image in each arched doorway. In particular, on the top there is a 9-storey lotus tower (Nine products of lotus flowers) carved with precious stones, creating a majestic, sacred but very soft beauty. The stupa was erected symmetrically with the Bodhi tree presented by the President of India in 1959 during his visit to Hanoi. This Bodhi tree is extracted from the Bodh Gaya tree - where Shakyamuni Buddha sat and practiced his religion more than 25 centuries ago.

Trấn Quốc - chùa cổ đất Thăng Long - Tạp chí Kinh tế Sài Gòn

                                                                                                                    Stupa was built in 1998

At present, the pagoda still preserves many valuable Buddha and Bodhisattva statues, which are located mainly in the Upper Palace. In which, the most prominent is the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha entering Nirvana made from wood, painted with gold paint, and is a beautiful statue of Nirvana in Vietnam.


                                                                               The precious statues of the temple are placed in the most solemn place

Tran Quoc Tu is a temple of the Bac Tong sect. Inside the shrine is to worship Shakyamuni Buddha, Amitabha Buddha and Guan Yin Buddha. Besides, the pagoda also has an altar to worship Chu Thuong, Quan Vu, Quan Binh, Duc Ong and attendants.

Through the ups and downs of time, Tran Quoc Pagoda still lies majestically, bringing a peaceful and ancient feature in the heart of bustling Hanoi. Every year, the pagoda attracts a lot of Buddhists from all over the world, domestic and foreign tourists come to offer incense, worship Buddha as well as visit the temple.

Author: Dieu Thao