Tran Quoc Pagoda – The Striking Emblem of Buddhism in Vietnam
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Buddhism and its influence in Vietnam had resulted in the outstanding building called Tran Quoc Pagoda. For thousands of years, the pagoda still remains as the signature of Vietnamese religion. Continue reading this post and you will learn wonderful information about this important location.
Things to See and Do in Tran Quoc Pagoda
This sacred building is situated on a small island on West Lake attracting not only religious people, local but also tourists from countries in the world. If you love to discover about the architecture and culture in the country, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a must-see destination in your travel to Vietnam.
Tran Quoc Pagoda at Night
Crossing the path to Tran Quoc Pagoda, you will pass through the main gate and enter an extremely complicated Buddhism pagoda. All the layers, decorations, buildings have strictly followed the rules of this religion. The first main hall is “Tien Duong” (Front hall) which directed to the west. Two houses for burning incense and “Thuong Dien” (Upper hall) are connected to Tien Duong creating the Chinese Word (工). Then, a three-storey house called the Bell House can be located after Thuong Dien. Finally, venture behind the pagoda and you will see some ancient grave tower from the 18th century.
Thuong Dien in the Pagoda
The most magnificent building that you can notice immediately from afar is the stupa in the center of Tran Quoc. It is a tower that has 11 stories with the height of 15 meters. Each floor has 6 doorways and in each box, there is a statue of Amitabha (the celestial Buddha) with made from precious stone. The top of the tower is Cuu Pham Lien Hoa or lotus nine floors which were also made from gemstone. This is the significant symbol of Buddhism in Hanoi and in the country.
The Tower and the Precious Statues
In the Courtyard, the local worshiped three female Buddha, often called as Mothers, in the shrines. The Green Mother rules over the mountain and forest while the white and Red Mother rules over the water and sky respectively.
The Mothers Altar
Tran Quoc Pagoda also a great place to contemplate the unique and invaluable statues. For example, there is a collection of bronze statues in the upper hall, each has a mysterious, special meaning or one of the most beautiful statues in Vietnam, “Thich Ca Thap Niet Ban”.
The Statues in the High Altar
In 1959, when the Indian President Rajendra Prasad visited Vietnam and Tran Quoc Pagoda, he presented a Bodhi tree on the ground of Tran Quoc Pagoda. Today, it added to the harmony between the sacred and ancient Pagoda and the tranquility of the lake.
A Gift of Friendship
Interesting facts about Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda has the history of nearly 1500 years old, but the original location of the pagoda was not in West Lake. Khai Quoc Pagoda (the first name of Tran Quoc) was built on the shore of Red River. In 1615, the pagoda was relocated to today’s destination.
The shrine is where people give offerings including little money, some foods, and burn incense. They then ask and pray the gods for fortune, luck, prosperity, and health. One rule about burning incense is that they only use odd numbers since they are considered to be lucky in the culture. Numbers such as 4 is avoiding at all cost because it sounds like the word “death” in Chinese. The offerings are also excluding meat as the monks in the pagoda are vegetarians.
Tran Quoc Pagoda in Lunar New Year
Buddhism pilgrims are common visitors in Tran Quoc, however, local people can pray in the pagoda and wish for wealth, health and happiness. Although opened year-round, the most crowded time of the year is in the lunar new year.
Arsenal Football Players Visiting Tran Quoc in 2013
- Source: Vietnam Excursions
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