One Pillar Pagoda

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The One Pillar Pagoda (Chùa Một Cột, formally Diên Hựu Tự or Liên Hoa Đài) is a historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi. It is regarded as one of Vietnam's two most iconic temples. Nearby Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and in the same route, the One Pillar Pagoda has great gardens for kids and their family to explore.

The Pagoda was built by the King Lý Thái Tông, who ruled from 1028 to 1054. According to the court records, Lý Thái Tông was childless and dreamt that he met the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who handed him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower. Lý Thái Tông then married a peasant girl that he met and she bore him a son. The emperor constructed the temple in gratitude for this in 1049, having been told by a monk named Thiền Tuệ to build the temple, by erecting a pillar in the middle of a lotus pond, similar to the one he saw in the dream.

The temple was renovated in 1105 by the King Lý Nhân Tông and a bell was cast and an installation was attempted in 1109. However, the bell, which was regarded as one of the four major capital works of Vietnam at that time, was much too large and heavy, and could not be installed. Since it could not be tolled while left on the ground, it was moved into the countryside and deposited in farmland adjacent to Nhất Trụ Temple. This land was widely inhabited by turtles, so the bell came to be known as Quy Điền chung, which means Bell of the Turtle Farmland. At the start of the 15th century, Vietnam was invaded and occupied by the Ming Dynasty. In 1426, the future EmperorLê Lợi attacked and dispersed the Chinese forces, and while the Ming were in retreat and low on weapons, their commanding general ordered that the bell be smelted, so that the copper could be used for manufacturing weaponry.

A replica was built in Thu Duc Dist, Ho Chi Minh City between late 1950s and early 1960s.

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