Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue
In hue, Vietnam, attracting tourists with its ancient and beautiful architecture.
Location: Thiên Mụ Pagoda, also known as Linh Mụ Pagoda, is one of the most ancient and attractive temples in the city of hue, Vietnam. It is situated on Hà Khe Hill, on the northern bank of the Perfume River, in Huong Long Village, approximately 5 km from the city center, making it easily accessible.
– Address: Huong Long Village, Northern bank of the Perfume River – 5 km from hue city center
– Entrance Fee: Free
– Map to Thiên Mụ Pagoda:
The name “Thiên Mụ” originates from a special legend. A long time ago, an old lady appeared on the hill where the temple now stands, telling the local people that the Lord would come and build a Buddhist temple for the prosperity of the country. Therefore, Lord Nguyễn Hoàng ordered the construction of the “Thiên Tiên Nữ” or Thiên Mụ Pagoda (also known as Linh Mụ). Thanks to such a mystical history, the pagoda has attracted a large number of tourists, both domestic and international, who come to explore its legends.
Highlights of Thiên Mụ Pagoda:
1. Formation and Growth:
The beautiful temple was constructed in 1601. Subsequently, several Nguyen Dynasty kings such as Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri, and Thanh Thai all undertook the renovation of the temple. In the early days, Hoang served as the governor of Thuan Hoa province (now known as Hue) but began to rule his own independent state in Central Vietnam. According to royal records, during a sightseeing and leisure trip to admire the local mountains and sea, Hoang passed by the hill where Thiên Mụ Pagoda now stands. Upon hearing the local legend, he decided to construct the temple. The original temple had a very simple architectural form, but over time, it underwent redevelopment and expansion, acquiring more intricate features.
– The beautiful temple was constructed in 1601. Over time, several Nguyen Dynasty kings, such as Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri, and Thanh Thai, contributed to the renovation of the pagoda.
2. Distinctive Architectural Structure:
– The most prominent feature of the pagoda is the Phuoc Duyen Tower (initially called Từ Nhân Tower), built by King Thieu Tri in 1884. This seven-story octagonal tower (height of 21m) enshrines a Buddha statue in human form. It is the tallest steeple in Vietnam and has become an unofficial symbol of hue. It is considered a symbol of the ancient capital.
3. Special Artistic Works:
– Inside the pagoda, there are several famous artworks that captivate tourists. For example, the Dai Hung Palace, the main hall with magnificent architecture, houses a bronze statue of Buddha. The palace holds some precious artifacts, including a bronze bell cast in 1677 and a wooden plaque gilded with gold inscribed with the name of Lord Nguyễn Phúc Chu (1714).
4. Historical Significance:
– Thiên Mụ Pagoda played a significant role in the history of Vietnam. In the summer of 1963, during the anti-government protests against President Ngo Dinh Diem, the pagoda became a focal point. Buddhist monks and followers protested Diem’s regime, and the events led to widespread demonstrations across the country. Thiên Mụ Pagoda was a central organizing point for Buddhist activism and often the site of hunger strikes, sit-ins, and protests.
Today, the pagoda is surrounded by flowers and ornamental trees. The tranquil garden extends to a peaceful and dreamy pine forest. It is well-maintained and welcomes all visitors.
Note: Thiên Mụ Pagoda can be reached by car or boat.
Situated on the picturesque banks of the Perfume River, along with the distinctive traditional architecture characteristic of Hue, Thiên Mụ Pagoda has become one of the most famous tourist destinations in the city of hue. Visitors should explore the city around hue and visit this pagoda in the afternoon to observe the prayer time of the monks in the pagoda as well as to admire the stunning sunset scenery on the Perfume River.