Posted By : Threeland Travel / Travel Guide
Generated in India, Buddism has existed for over 2500 years and indoctrinated to Vietnam thousands of years ago. Hanoi has been the center of Vietnam Buddism during the feudal regime. Many sacred pagodas built a long time ago well-reservation until now will highlight in your Vietnam holiday packages. Let's discover the top 3 sacred and magnificent pagodas and some tips when traveling to bask in your Hanoi day tour.
1. Tran Quoc Pagoda - Vietnam National Pagoda
Have you ever traveled to an ancient architecture? What do you expect to a 1500-year-old pagoda?
Tran Quoc pagoda is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi, one of the 16 most beautiful ancient pagodas in the world, just 4km from the center.
Located on a pretty peninsula in the east of West Lake, Tran Quoc pagoda looks like a lotus floating on the surface of the lake.
The charm of Tran Quoc pagoda from the high view
At first, the pagoda was named “Khai Quoc” to mark the first self-control reign of Vietnamese by the Pre Ly Dynasty in the 6th century. In the 17th century, it was relocated from the bank of Red Rover to the present position and had a new name Tran Quoc, showing hope for a peaceful period in Vietnam. Then, it had been restored and expanded during the Nguyen Dynasty since the visit of Minh Mang and Thieu Tri King.
In the flow of time, this national pagoda was the Buddist center of Thang Long - Hanoi. The pagoda has been a place of many high-growth Vietnam and India monks to practice. On Vietnam special festivals, this is also the place where kings, mandarins, concubines and head - officials organize the worshiping ceremonies to pray for national peace and welfare.
Tran Quoc pagoda follows traditional Mahayana architecture with three main areas tower garden, ancestral house, and upper palace.
The main gate has the traditional architecture of Mahayana Buddhism
From the main gate, follow a straight way, a complex of ancient towers surrounding an 11-floor stupa is on the left. The stupa is symmetrical with the linden tree which President Prasat, on his visit to Vietnam in 1959, presented to President Ho Chi Minh. That symmetry has a profound meaning: The lotus symbolizes Buddha's true nature, as being born in the mud without being impure. Bodhi is the awareness, the supreme wisdom. It all implies the Buddist ontological meaning.
Buddhist value is implied in the 11-floor stupa
Go straight to the paved road, visitors will come to the front yard where the linden tree grows. It is extracted from an ancient root in Bodh Gaya where the Buddha practiced more than 25 centuries ago.
Insides, a lot of sacred Buddha statues and religious objects are stored serving offerings.
Visiting Tran Quoc pagoda, visitors can immerse into the watery landscape and harmonious architecture, release all tiredness and gain back all energy. Besides, you are also given incense to light in small temples here. Especially, at important holidays such as Tet, full-moon day, Mid-Autumn Festival, etc…, a lot of Buddhists come, which best describes the practice way of Hanoian.
Opening time: 7:30 - 11:30, 13:30 - 18:30
Notes: Period in 11.30 - 13.30 is the noontime of monks, the doors are closed and opened again at 13.30 so that tourists can not get inside.
See more: Experience an exciting Hanoi cooking class after paying a visit to Tran Quoc Pagoda
2. One Pillar Pagoda - A symbol of Vietnam Culture
On the campus of Ho Chi Minh Complex, this temple has a modest size but maintains great value of history and religion.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum situates near One Pillar Pagoda
One Pillar Pagoda was constructed in October 1049, in the reign of Ly Thai Tong. It was said that the king dreamed of seeing Quan Am Buddha sitting on a lotus throne, bringing his hand to the court then he decided to build a temple on a stone pillar in the middle of the lake. The pagoda had a blooming lotus shape and put a statue of Quan Am Buddha sitting on a lotus throne to imply the king’s dream. At first, it was named Dien Huu with the hope for the longevity of the nation.
In the war against French, the temple was destroyed and then restored in 1955. Compared to the original one in the Ly - Tran period, One Pillar Pagoda today has changed a lot, however, the style remains the basic architecture. The entire temple is built on a cylindrical stone pillar with a diameter of 1.2m and 4m high, excluding the submerged part. The square pond symbolizes the earth while the temple rising represents kindness that enlightens the world. Inside, the Buddha on a lotus flower painted with golden veneer is put in the highest position. It looks like a large lotus rising straight up the middle of the lake which stands for is the secular elegance of Budda.
This temple is an independent symbol, over the years, with its unique architecture, has remained steadfast with the country through many ups and downs of history.
On the campus, there is a Bodhi Tree, a gift of Indian President Rajendra Prasad to President Ho Chi Minh in 1958.
In the cultural space of thousands of years of belief, the pagoda has become the symbol of the eternal existence of Vietnam.
"The temple has the most unique architecture" for One Pillar Pagoda.
One Pillar pagoda is available to approach in the day time.
From Tran Quoc Pagoda, it takes you only 15 minutes to walk under green foliage to Ho Chi Minh Complex, where One Pillar pagoda locates on the campus. This is a big area with many beautiful architectures.
Notes: Check security before getting in Ho Chi Minh Complex is compulsory, it is better to carry a light bag without dangerous objects and wear polite clothes.
3. Perfume Pagoda (Huong Pagoda) - Pagoda of the legends
Perfume Pagoda is another worth destination to discover. While Tran Quoc Pagoda and One Pillar Pagoda are right 10 minutes from downtown, Perfume Pagoda hides in a majestic mountainous area which is 50km far away.
Huong Pagoda (Perfume Pagoda) is surrounded by a poetic stream called Yen Stream in Huong Son range. This area has been eroded for a long time which created abundant stunning caves.
Yen Stream – a gentle and poetic flows
A legend told that in Huong Tich cave, the Bodhisattva got enlightenment after 9 years practicing. The Bodhisattva was a child of Dieu Trang Vuong King in Hung Lam, after enlighted, he returned to cure his father and save the sentient beings.
When this Buddhist legend was spread, many ancient masters of the monks and nuns moved here, then in Le Thanh Tong reign, an altar was put inside Huong Tich cave and Thien Tru pagoda was built at the foot of the mountain. Huong Tich cave is the main cave of the landscape, looks like a big dragon opening its mouth with numerous strange shapes of stalactites such as rice dunes, paddy rice; money, silver, yellow tree; silkworm, pig, barn, duckweed, mother's breasts, etc.
A devout ceremony inside Huong Tich Cave
Gradually, a lot of Buddist legends transformed other points around Huong Tich cave into holy places such as Tien Son cave, Excuse Pagoda and Stream (Giai Oan Pagoda and Stream), Tuyet Quynh Cave, Thanh Tri Well which water never runs out, Cua Vong Temple where the Moutain God is worshiped, etc.
In the 18th century, Trinh Sam lord was so astonished by the mysterious and sparkling stalactites then he entitled Huong Tich cave as “The most extraordinary cave in south sky (Vietnam)”.
Similar to most religious festivals in north Vietnam, The Huong Pagoda festival opens in spring, on the 6th of January and usually lasts until the third week of the third lunar month. On this occasion, millions of Buddhists and tourists from all over Vietnam pilgrimage to go sightseeing and put offerings. Most of them start the journey from Yen Stream, the foot of the mountain to Huong Tich cave - the highest point in Huong Son mountain. This itinerary is the most appropriate for your Hanoi pagoda day tour. If you prefer to discover the whole area, prepare yourself a good health in at least 3 days.
Notes: Reaching the Huong Tich cave on the top of the mountain now is much easier with a modern cable system or you also can climb up the stone steps.
Thousands of people go on a pilgrimage to Perfume Pagoda Festival
Besides pagodas, Hanoi also has a lot of worth temples right inner city to visit such as Quan Thanh, Kim Lien, Voi Phuc, Bach Ma, etc.
You also can have these four temples for your Hanoi day tour.
See more: Get your free & easy Hanoi Excursion
Tips for having a joyful excursion
• Remember to wear polite clothes when you visit any pagoda or temple in Vietnam: skirts, pants over knee, shirt not exposing shoulders, chest, armpit
• Spacious and convenient outfits are recommended
• Keep silent inside the temples, the caves having alters
• Do not invoke or use curses
• Ask your tour guide for help if you would like to make offerings and pray.
A Hanoi pagoda day tour will be a perfect stopover for your Vietnam holiday packages. With the above pagodas, I hope that they will give you ideas to plan your trip. If you have any questions or expectations, Threelanders are always willing to illuminate them and give the best deals for you. Contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or What’s App: +84342620068 or call +842439262056. Drop-in on threeland.com to see more Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand trips.