Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest of its kind in Hanoi, dating back to the 6th century during the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De Dynasty (544 - 548). When founded the temple was named Khai Quoc (National Founding) and was sited on the shores of the Red River, outside of the Yen Phu Dyke. When confronted with the river’s encroachment, the temple was relocated in 1615 to Kim Ngu (Golden Fish) islet of Ho Tay (West Lake) where it is now situated. A small causeway links it to the mainland.
The Buddhist shrine has undergone several changes throughout the years, particularly its renaming from An Quoc (Pacification of the Realm) to Tran Quoc Protecting the Country) by Emperor Le Huy Tong in the 17th century and later to Tran Bac (Guardian of the North) as well.
The last major repair to the temple was undertaken in 1815 when the main sanctuary, reception hall and posterior hall of the dead were renovated. The stupa garden is one of the main parts of the Trấn Quốc Temple for it holds the important monk’s ashes. Most of the stupas were made in the 17th century but the tallest stupa was rebuild in 2004. The stupas are red because in Vietnamese culture red symbolizes luck and prosperity.
Panorama ©2014 NCCong
Standing at 15 metres, the main stupa is made up of eleven levels, while its surrounding buildings include an incense burning house and a museum housing historic relics. You can also see intricately carved statues dating to 1639, each of which bear unique facial feature.
Open daily, Tran Quoc Pagoda is free to enter all year long, though it gets packed with devotees during annual festivities such as Tet and Buddha’s Birthday. As it’s a place of worship, visitors are advised to dress conservatively out of respect for the monks and locals.
- Chùa Thần Quang: số 44 phố Ngũ Xã.
- Đền Quán Thánh: góc đường Quán Thánh—Thanh Niên.
- Đình Ngũ Xã: số 16 phố Nguyễn Khắc Hiếu.
- Đình Yên Phụ: phố Yên Hoa, phường Yên Phụ.
- Opening Hours: Daily 07h30 – 18h00
- Location: Thanh Nien Road, Yen Phu Ward, Tay Ho District, Ha Noi City
Text & Photo (c) Đông Tỉnh NCCong