Tran Quoc pagoda is a secret symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism honored by its long history and prime location. Let us enjoy centuries-old architecture, admire the landscaped gardens and relax in a tranquil atmosphere.
Tran Quoc pagoda opens everyday and no fee is charged. The only requirement for visitors is to dress properly.
The history of Tran Quoc pagoda
Tran Quoc pagoda is a 1500 year old pagoda and considered to be one of the oldest in Hanoi. The pagoda was constructed from 544 to 548 during the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De. Originally, when first founded, the pagoda was name Khai Quoc (which meant “Founding the Nation”) 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. Renamed many times, the pagoda was first known as Tran Quoc during the reign of Emperor Le Hy Tong (12th century) and has kept its name until today.
Tran Quoc pagoda – the harmonious beauty
The pagoda was built in accordance with delicate Buddhism architecture. It consists of three buildings known as “Tien duong” and a small one dedicated to burning votive. The inner rooms are connected with each other to form the word “Cong” in ancient text. With its harmonious architecture taking advantage of the watery landscape, the pagoda is a picturesque attraction. The sunset views from the temple grounds are renowned. Tran Quoc’s history and the tales of the Buddha entering Nirvana were carved in statuary pieces dating back to 1639.
Entering the gardens, tourists would be amazed by Bodhi tree with heart-shaped leaves. in 1959, former Indian President, Rajendra Prasad brought along the tree as gifts in his diplomatic visit to Tran Quoc pagoda. Many believe that the tree originated from sacred Bodhi tree where the Buddha sat and received enlightenment. Tourists and pilgrims from all over the world share their journey to honor the relics.
The tall standing tower which could be easily recognized from far away was constructed in 1998. The talented architects and builders located the tower in symmetry with the Bodhi tree to emphasize the importance of the tower. It is 15 meters tall with 11 floors. Each storey has six windows dedicating to a place Buddha statues. On top of the tower is a lotus flower statues. These symbolize purity of the mind, body and speech. The lotus flower also symbolizes enlightenment and achievement. Lotus carvings could be found anywhere in Tran Quoc pagoda. The stone wall at the side of the pagoda has multiple carvings of lotus flowers engraved in the stone. The carvings express the beauty of nature in Vietnam. Moreover, there is a great deal of Buddhist symbolism at the Tran Quoc Temple as well. The eight-spoked wheel is the symbol of Buddhism because it represents the Noble Eight-fold Path.