Destinations

Exploring the beauty of Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue

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Vietnam private tours have been popular these days because of its comfort and convenience. There are many suitable places for a private tour along Vietnam, especially in the Centre. And with its historic and attractive beauty, Hue City is undoubtedly an ideal destination for your Vietnam tours in general and your private tours in Central Vietnam in particular.

Considered as one of the top must-see destinations in Vietnam, Thien Mu Pagoda cannot be missed in your Hue City travel. Located on Ha Khe hill, on the left bank of the Huong River, about 5km west of Hue city, it is a famous spiritual tourist site of Hue. Along with the beautiful and ancient architecture, the mystical spiritual stories about this pagoda have attracted the curiosity of tourists.

Thien Mu Pagoda beside the Huong River

Thien Mu Pagoda beside the Huong River

History and names

Thien Mu is the earliest pagoda built in Hue City. It is told that, when he came to Thuong Hoa Village and Quang Nam, King Nguyen Hoang – the first Nguyen King in Southern Vietnam personally went to consider the terrain to prepare for the establishment of the capital for Nguyen family. Once on a horseback riding along the Huong River, up to the head of the river, Nguyen Hoang encountered a small hill beside the Huong River called Ha Khe. Recognizing that the terrain is like a dragon is turning its head back, then in 1601, the King built a pagoda on the hill, facing the Huong River and named Thien Mu.

At that time, it was said that an old woman in red shirt and green pants often appeared on the hill, she told the local people: “Then there will be a godfather build a pagoda to help collect the spirit for the mighty country.” Therefore, when King Nguyen Hoang started the pagoda construction, he received the huge support from the locals.

In 1862, Tu Duc, the fourth King of the Nguyen Dynasty, changed the name of the pagoda into Linh Mu because “Thien” in the first name means “Heaven”. However, after 1869, people use both names, Thien Mu and Linh Mu, to call the pagoda.

Architecture

Under the Nguyen Dynasty, Thien Mu Pagoda had been repaired many times, for example, the restoration to expand the scale of the King Nguyen Phuc Chu (1961-1725). Besides, in 1710, the King had people make Dai Hong Minh, a large bell which is over 2 tons in weight. Until 1714, the King continued to renovate various architectural works such as Thien Vuong, Dai Hung, Thuyet Phap Buildings, Tang Kinh Pavilion, etc. The King also had people go to China to buy more than 1,000 Buddhist scriptures and put them in Tang Kinh Pavilion to chant the Buddhist philosophy.

With a great investment, Thien Mu Pagoda has become one of the fascinating places in Hue. In 1788, The Tay Son Dynasty chose the pagoda as a place for sacrifice.

Thien Mu Pagoda in history

Thien Mu Pagoda in history

Under the reign of King Thieu Tri, about 1844, an extra octagonal tower was built, named Tu Nhan, later changed to Phuoc Duyen. This tower is 21m in height and consists of seven equal floors but the higher floor it is, the smaller area it has. Each floor has a statue of Buddha, the top floor has a gold Buddha statue. This is the architectural work associated with Thien Mu Pagoda.

Tourist sites cannot be ignored when visiting Thien Mu Pagoda

Phuoc Duyen Tower

It is the most prominent feature of Thien Mu Pagoda. There are only one main entrance and a spiral staircase leading up to 7 floors.

Phuoc Duyen Tower

Phuoc Duyen Tower

Dai Hung

It is the main palace of the pagoda. Inside the shrine, there are the first bronze Buddha statues of Duc Hue Precinct.

Thich Don Hau Monastery

As the abbot of Thien Mu Pagoda, the late monk Thich Mon Hau was a man of great Buddhist charisma in Hue as well as in Vietnam.

Austin immortal car

In Thien Mu Pagoda, the Austin car of monk Thich Quang Duc was well preserved. The monk left it before he fired himself to oppose the policy of suppressing Buddhism under Ngo Dinh Diem regime in 1963.

Austin immortal car

Austin immortal car

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