Ho Chi Minh complex, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi not only amazes travelers by its unique, fierce and fabulous design but also by its tranquility and awesome landscape. One Pillar Pagoda stands close to the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, so you can go on to visit this complex at once. The structure of the pagoda is quite different than any designs of a pagoda or temple before, kind of a unique architecture in Vietnam as well as global world. It was built on a single stone pillar with 1.25m in diameter which is similar to a lotus blossom, a symbol of purity growing from a muddy pond.
Legend has it, in the Ly dynasty, the Emperor Ly Thai To went to pagodas to pray for a child since he is childless. One night, he dreamed about the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara seating on a great lotus flower in a square-shaped lotus pond on the western side of Thang Long Citadel and granted him a boy. Months later, he married with a peasant and had a son. Since then, the One Pillar Pagoda was constructed in gratitude for the significant legendary event similar to what the king saw in his dream. That’s why it’s only from one pillar that builds up a temple, as it represents for the lotus in the middle of the pond. Thanks to the unique shape together with the special story, this temple has become an absorptive destination of thousands of international tourists and Vietnamese people, too.
What you see at the moment is actually not the original design of the temple due to the fact that it was destroyed by French colonial power. It was not until 1955 that it was rebuilt to preserve a place for praying and relaxing. Today’s structure can be called the replica of the old one which was a large building. To most of the local people, if you spread your wish here, it will invoke well-beings and prosperity.
One Pillar pagoda opens daily from 8AM to 5PM and the entrance is free so you can arrange your time in the best way to see Hanoi and discover the tranquil beauty inside and outside the pagoda. One thing you should notice is that since it is a pagoda, like any worshiped structure somewhere else in Vietnam, visitors are required to wear full-length clothes to keep the politeness for this place. Now, you can get ready to go!