One Pillar Pagoda

The One-pillar pagoda or Dien Huu pagoda, has one of the most special architectures in Vietnam. The pagoda is situated next to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, right in the center of Hanoi.

One Pillar PagodaThe pagoda started being constructed under Ly’s dynasty in 1049. The legend goes that one night in 1049, King Ly Thai Tong dreamed of the Holy Lady (Phat ba Quan Am) sitting on a lotus and leading him to a similar building.

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 Lunar calendar, the King came to the pagoda for Buddha bathing ceremony and afterwards, released a bird.

In 1105, King Ly Nhan Tong extended the pagoda and added Linh Chieu bond. However, time has erased everything but the limited area like what we see now. Near the pagoda there’s a bodhi tree. This is the gift from Rajendra Prasad- Indian presidents to Ho Chi Minh President.

The Mot Cot – Dien Huu Pagoda complex is indeed a national treasure in the hearts of all Vietnamese.

Built in the 11th century, when Buddhism was the national religion under the Ly Kings, the Lien Hoa Dai (or Lotus Tower) was more renowned than the main Dien Huu Pagoda. Dai Viet Su ky Toan Thu, or the Complete Annals of Great Viet, states that King Ly Thai Tong (1028-1054) did not have a son to carry on his name. He had a dream where bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, sitting on a lotus blossom, handed a baby boy over to him. The King then married a peasant girl and she later gave birth to a son.

In 1049, as an act of gratitude, the King ordered a pagoda built in the shape of a lotus blossom (a symbol of purity in Buddhism). The pagoda was built from wood on a single stone pillar. Inside, the altar was dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy.

During the centuries of monarchy, the pagoda was the worship site for all royals until the Nguyen Dynasty, which started in 1802.

In 1954, after the French were defeated in Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Agreement divided Viet Nam into two, the colonists had to withdraw from Ha Noi and bombed the One Pillar Pagoda into pieces.

The pagoda now became one of the most meaningful symbols of Hanoi.

One Pillar Pagoda

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