Tran Quoc Pagoda is selected by the British Daily Mail as one of the 16 most beautiful temples in the world. Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest temple in Hanoi with over 1,500 years of age, is an architectural work combining the ancient and gentle beauty of Thang Long – Hanoi. For that reason, Tran Quoc Pagoda is always a place which attracts many visitors when visiting Hanoi
- Address: No.32 Thanh Nien street, Yen Phu Ward, Ba Dinh dictrict
See on Google map: https://goo.gl/maps/QyijkKEGW2er6F96A
- Opening time: Daily from 08:00 to 16:00
- Transportation: The best way to come to Tran Quoc Pagoda is taking a taxi. If you want to go by bus you can take a bus No.33 or No.50
- Entrance fee: VND.5000
Table of contents
History of Tran Quoc Pagoda
From 544 to 548 Tran Quoc Pagoda was first built with the name “Khai Quoc” (National Founding) during King Ly Nam De Dynasty on the bank of Red River (near Yen Phu Ward, Tay Ho District now). Till the 15th century, under King Le Thai Tong period, it became “An Quoc”, which means a peaceful country.
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. A small causeway links it to the mainland.
During King Le Huy Tong dynasty (1681-1705), it was changed to the name “Tran Quoc Pagoda”, meaning protecting the country. From then on, the renaming process stoped. Through each name of the pagoda, we can see a milestone of the country as well as the wishes of its people attached to this pagoda.
The last major repair to the temple was undertaken in 1815. Most of the pagodas were made in the 17th century but the tallest pagoda was remade in 2004. The pagodas are red because in Chinese and Vietnamese culture red symbolizes luck and prosperity.
Monks have lived at the pagoda for centuries, teaching the ways of Buddhism to the public. Before the visitors start arriving, the monks pray at the multiple shrines spread around the grounds. Monks do not get married and therefore do not live with families at the pagoda. Over the years, the temple was variously named An Quoc (Pacification of the Realm) and Tran Bac (Guardian of the North) as well.
Landscape and architecture
The unique architecture
Besides the front gate facing the crowded Thanh Nien Road, this 3,000m2 complex is surrounded by tide of West Lake, and is designed according to strict rules of Buddhist architecture with many layers of buildings and three main houses called “Tiền Đường”, a house for burning incense and “Thượng điện”. These rooms are connected with each other to form a Công script (工).
The precinct of Tran Quoc Pagoda is highlighted by a high stupa that you may recognize from a far distance built in 1998. This stupa is composed of 11 floors with a height of 15m. Each floor has a vaulted window holding a statue of Amitabha made from gemstone. On the top stands a nine-storey lotus (Cửu đỉnh liên hoa) and is also gemstone. This stupa is situated symmetrically with the 50-year-old Bodhi tree gifted by former Indian President on the occasion of his visit to Hanoi in 1959. Abbot Thich Thanh Nha of Tran Quoc Pagoda explains the meaning of this correlation: “The lotus represent Buddha while the Bodhi is a symbol of supreme knowledge”.
Not only that, Tran Quoc is also a small museum of priceless antiques dated thousands to hundreds years old like worshiping statues in the front house. These statues are all engraved and polished meticulously by skillful craftsmen, which all bear spectacular features. Among them, the outstanding one is the statue “Thích ca thập niết bàn”, which is evaluated as the most beautiful statue of Vietnam.
A beloved destination
Famous for stunning scenery and sacred sanctuary, Tran Quoc Pagoda used to be a favorite sightseeing place of many kings and lord of Vietnam, especially during festivals, full moon days or Tet. Up until now, the pagoda can still preserve its fame although the landscape has been affected by urbanization.
With all the historical and architectural values it possesses, Tran Quoc Pagoda is not only worth visiting as a sacred sanctuary of Buddhism attracting countless Buddhist believers; but also an indispensable destination for cultural explorers to Vietnam.
What should we pray to when go to Tran Quoc Pagoda?
Tran Quoc Pagoda is famously sacred, visitors can choose the 1st or 15th day of the lunar calendar to go to Tran Quoc pagoda. You can burn incense sticks and pray for peace, health, wellbeing for yourself and your family.
Some people often go to Tran Quoc Pagoda on Vu Lan holiday with the desire to wish their parents health. This is also a filial heart to repay the nurture of the parents – a good tradition of Vietnamese.
In particular, this place is also famous for lucky prayer festival of the Tet Holiday . During this time, there are many tourists come to visit and look forward to a smooth sailing year.
In addition, this temple is also known by many young people for the sacredness in praying for love.
What to wear when visit the pagoda?
Another point to note when coming to the pagoda is the costume. When visiting other attractions, visitors can freely choose their favorite costumes. However, the pagoda is a sacred place, so it is necessary to choose appropriate costumes. Here are some examples:
- Choose courteous colors
- Wear a collared shirt
- Do not wear short or short skirts
- Do not wear net socks
Tran Quoc Pagoda is a place worth visiting because it is not only a beautiful sight-seeing but also a sacred place, bringing a peaceful feeling to everyone. After visiting the pagoda, visitors can also enjoy famous West Lake ice cream and popular to luxurious dishes.
Above is information you need to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda. Below is our tour in Hanoi for your references: Hanoi city tour full day