Thien Mu Pagoda – Heavenly Lady Pagoda

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Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country. It is ideally-situated on Ha Khe hill, on the left bank of the Perfume River, in Huong Long commune, 5km from Hue city. It is well – known with a special legend about its origin. A long time ago, local people used to see an old lady appearing on the hill where the Pagoda stands today. When seeing people, she always said that someday a Lord would build a Buddhist Pagoda at this site to bring peace and prosperity to the country. One day, when Lord Nguyen Hoang passed by this area and heard the story, he ordered the construction of the called Thien Mu Pagoda – “Heavenly Lady (orCelestial Lady) Pagoda”.

The Pagoda was built in 1601 in an octagonal shape with seven tiers, enshrining the bronze cast statues and housing precious items. The Pagoda had been upgraded and repaired many times under the Nguyen dynasty by King Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri, and finally Thanh Thai.

 If we overlook the southwest bank of the Perfume River, the Thien Mu Pagoda has two parts. The front of the Pagoda can be accessed by rowing on a boat along the fresh Perfume River with full of trees covering the dock where the boats stop. From here, we can see the Phuoc Duyen tower which was constructed in 1844 by King Thieu Tri. This 7-floor octagonal tower also contributes to the unique architecture pattern of Thien Mu Pagoda.

The rear of the Pagoda is Dai Hung temple – the main court hall where Buddha is enshrined and the monks of the temple live and learn Buddhism. It is a magnificent architecture construction with shining Buddha statues made of copper. Along the two sides of the Pagoda are the two areas of houses, one is home to the bonzes and the other is the guest house to welcome travelers to the Pagoda. Visitors can burn incense and pray for blessings, happiness, luck and prosperity. Fragrant incense smoke fills the air there all day long.

When visitors come here, they can take some pictures of the tower and go around the Pagoda garden which is a collection of plants and flowers given to the Pagoda by pilgrims around the country. Keep walking inside the peaceful garden, we will catch some timid rabbits hiding in bushes and hear many kinds of birds singing on the canopies of leaves above. It is like walking in a wilderness forest.

Come and feel the fresh air which will bring visitors to a peaceful feeling never achievable in the hustle and bustle of the daily life. Most tours to Hue also visit the Pagoda for luck and happiness as well as to understand religious and cultural traditions of Hue.

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