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Amongst a number of beauty-spots in Hanoi, the One-Pillar Pagoda (one of Vietnam’s two most iconic pagodas, side by side the Perfume Pagoda) is a popular tourist attraction.
The One Pillar Pagoda (Vietnamese:Chùa Một Cột, formally Diên Hựu tự , which itterally means “long lasting happiness and good luck”) is a historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. As you visit Hanoi, you may come to various other monuments, parks and historical places. Yet, the One-Pillar Pagoda reflects the architectural splendour that the country has grown.
The unique pagoda is located in the western part of the city, near Ho ChiMinh’s Mausoleum, Ong Ich Khiem St., Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.
The Legendary story about One-Pillar Pagoda: According to legend, ageing Emperor Ly Thai To of the Ly dynasty, whohad no children, used to go to pagodas to pray to Buddha for a son. Onenight, he dreamt that he was granted a private audience to theBodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who was seated on a great lotus flower ina square-shaped lotus pond on the western side of Thang Long Citadel,gave the King a baby boy. Months later, when the Queen gave birth to amale child, the Emperor ordered the construction of a pagoda supportedby only one pillar to resemble the lotus seat of his dream in thehonour of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. According to a theory, thepagoda was built in a style of a lotus emerging out of the water.
Formation: EmperorLy Thai Tong had this temple constructed in gratitude for the mentionedsignificant legendary event in 1049, by erecting a pillar in the middleof a lotus pond, and a temple of lotus-shape, exactly similar to whathe saw in the dream. This unique shape of the pagoda together with thespecial story has been of great absorption to hundreds of thousands ofinternational tourists!
This Pagoda was located in what was then the Tây Cấm Garden in Thạch Bảo,Vĩnh Thuận district in the capital Thăng Long (now known as Hanoi. Itwas built of wood on a single stone pillar 1.25 m in diameter, and itis designed to resemble a lotus blossom, which is a Buddhist symbol ofpurity, since a lotus blossoms in a muddy pond. Before the pagoda was opened, prayers were held for the longevity of the monarch, hence being considered a temple at that time. During the Ly Dynasty era, the templewas the site of an annual royal ceremony on the occasion of Vesak, thebirthday of Gautama Buddha. A Buddha-bathing ceremony was held annuallyby the monarch, and it attracted monks and laymen alike to theceremony. The monarch would then free a bird, which was followed by thepeople.
As time went by, the pagoda succumbed to many ravages caused by the colonial powers. In 1954, theFrench Union forces destroyed the pagoda before withdrawing fromVietnam after the First Indochina War, and it was rebuilt afterwards.
Today’s form: Whatyou see today of the pagoda is a new form recovered in 1955 when it wasrefurbished with a concrete pillar from its remnants by the Vietnamesegovernment. Today's structure can be just called the replica of the original pagoda, which was a large building. Locals believe that if youpray here, it will invoke well-beings and prosperity.
Opening time: The pagoda is open daily from 08:00 a.m to 05:00 p.m. Entrance is free.