Tran Quoc Pagoda

Undoubtedly, with its history line of more than 1,500 years and impressive spectacle, Tran Quoc pagoda is the most ancient and beautiful pagoda in Hanoi.

The architecture of this Buddhist center is a sophisticated combination between the solemn and beautiful landscape on the peaceful and quiet atmosphere of West Lake’s surface. Thanks to these historical and architectural values, Tran Quoc Pagoda attracts many viators to pay a visit, both of domestic and inbound ones.

 

Tran-Quoc-Pagoda

 

In the beginning, Tran Quoc Pagoda was named “Khai Quoc” (Opening a country) during King Ly Nam De reign, between year 544 and 548 on the Red River bank (approximately within Yen Phu Ward, Tay Ho District now). Till the 15th century, during King Le Thai Tong reign, it was renamed to “An Quoc”, which means a peaceful country.

In 1915, due to an unique landslide ingrained into foundation of the pagoda that made the incumbent government and people to move the whole construction to Kim Ngư Island on the East of West Lake, and this is Tran Quoc Pagoda’s current location that you can see.

The renaming process had not been stopped yet until it was changed to the current name “Tran Quoc Pagoda”, meaning protecting the country, during King Le Huy Tong dynasty (1681–1705). Through each name of the pagoda, we can see a milestone of the country as well as the wishes of its people attached to this holy sanctuary.

 

Tran-Quoc-Pagoda-stupas

 

Well–known for stunning scenery and sacred sanctuary, Tran Quoc Pagoda used to be a favorite sightseeing place of many kings and lord of Vietnam, especially during festivals, full moon days or Tet (New Year in Lunar Calendar). Up to now, the pagoda has been still preserving its fame although the landscape has been affected by urbanization.

Besides the front gate facing the busy Thanh Nien Road, this 3,000m2 complex is encompassed by sliver tide of West Lake, and is designed according to strict regulations of Buddhist architecture with many layers of buildings and three main houses called “Tiền Đường”, a house for burning incense and "Thượng Điện". These rooms are connected with each other to form a Công script (工).

 

Tran-Quoc-Pagoda-in-Hanoi

 

One of the most highlights of Tran Quoc Pagoda is a high stupa that you may realize from a far built in 1998. This stupa is composed of 11 floors with a height of 15m; each floor has a vaulted window holding a statue of Amitabha made from gemstone. On the top stands a nine-storey lotus (Cửu đỉnh liên hoa) and is also gemstone. This stupa is located symmetrically with the 50-year-old Bodhi tree gifted by former Indian President on the occasion of his visit to Hanoi in 1959. Abbot Thich Thanh Nha of Tran Quoc Pagoda explains the meaning of this correlation: “The lotus represent Buddha while the Bodhi is a symbol of supreme knowledge”.

Not only that, Tran Quoc is also a small museum of priceless antiques dated hundreds to thousands years old like worshiping statues in the front house. These statues are all engraved and polished meticulously by skillful craftsmen, which all bear spectacular features. Among them, the highlighted one is the statue “Thích ca thập niết bàn”, which is evaluated as the most beautiful statue of Vietnam.

With all the historical and architectural values it owns, Tran Quoc Pagoda is not only worth visiting as a sacred sanctuary of Buddhism attracting countless Buddhist believers; but also an unmissed destination for cultural explorers to Vietnam.

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