Ha Pagoda - A Sacred Place To Pray For Love And Happiness

Duc - October 27, 2018

Ha pagoda nestled in a tranquil street in Cau Giay District. You are now single? You hope to seek for your soulmate? Ha Pagoda is definitely your first pick. Interspersed between bustling Hanoi, you can easily catch a pagoda nestled in a peaceful side street in Cau Giay District.  Ha Pagoda, a spectacular temple complex and attracts many Buddhists, tourists and even the young Hanoian in order to pray for love.

Ha Pagoda Introduction

When was Ha Pagoda constructed?

Related to the history of this temple, there are two legends related to the mysterious history of Ha pagoda.

  • The first legend: The pagoda was built built in the 11th century during the reign of King Ly Nhan Tong (1054-1072).

As the King was over 40 years old but had yet any child, he visited to a small temple in the Dich Vong area now to pray.

The result was that he had a son named Can Duc. The temple was renamed as the pagoda of the Lord ( Thanh Chua Pagoda)

During his visit, the King also went into another temple and gave the money to repair and restore it => Ha Pagoda owned its official name, Pagoda of Holy Virtue (Thánh Ðức Tự).

  • The second legend: King Le Thanh Tong (1460-1497) began the construction of the pagoda to express his respect to Nguyen Trai, Nguyen Xi and Dinh Liet, who devoted their lives to put him on the throne.

During the war, many parts of Ha pagoda was destroyed. Thanks to a huge sponsorship from two wealthy families, the pagoda was restored in 1860.

From 1995 to 2003, Dich Vong district’s administrators continued to re-build and upgrade Ha Pagoda and Boi Ha Communal House.

How is the architectural structure of Ha Pagoda like?

All of architectural works of Ha Pagoda are situated on a vast and open space with a lot of green trees.

Three-entrance Gate (Tam Quan Gate): Includes two floors equipped with a stair system on the left side.

  • The first floor: Its unique point is a flaming sun sculpted on a tiger- faced design.

Ha Pagoda Three-entrance Gate propped up by 12 embossed pillars

  • The other floor propped up by 12 carefully embossed pillars

The floor contains three smaller gate, the middle one of which owns the largest size.

A bronze bell called Thanh Duc Bell (Holy Virtue Bell) is placed on the second part of Three-door temple Gate with the height of 1.2m and and 1.8m square in size.

Ha Pagoda Bronze Thanh Duc Bell

Unique features can be found on the bell with four sacred animals: Dragon, Qilin, Tortoise and Phoenix.

According to Vietnamese culture and architecture:

  • Dragon symbolizes power.
  • Qilin symbolizes intellect.
  • Tortoise symbolizes longevity.
  • Phoenix symbolizes nobility.

Images of the 4 hieratic animals are integral parts of the S-shaped country’s culture, reflecting their desire for peace, prosperity and happiness.

Entering Tam Quan Gate, tourists can catch a large yard full of green old trees:

  • The oldest banyan is more than 300 years old, standing next to the fireplace.
  • The star fruit tree in front of the pagoda is also more than 100 years old, yielding juicy fruits every year.
  • The trees in the front yard came from India. Though being regularly trimmed, the trees still spread out, covering the whole yard.
  • There is also a semicircular lake in front of the yard.
  • Beside the semicircular lake is a Stele of Holy Virtue ( Thanh Duc tu bi)
  • Three sides of the stele were sculpted in Sino-Nom and the other side was Vietnamese Roman Alphabet.

Ha Pagoda Stele of Holy Virtue written by District Chief Nguyen Dinh Trach

  • Along with Stele of Holy Virtue are 18 other stelae since Nguyen Dynasty providing information on restoration and sponsorship process.

18 stelae giving information on restoration and sponsorship process of Ha Pagoda

Based on Sino-Vietnamese character Tam, the main pagoda was built into three sections: Tien Duong ( Forecourt), Thuong Dien and Tam Bao (Three Jewels)

  • Forecourt, a place for offerings and ceremonies: Many pilgrims from all regions of Vietnam annually come here to wish a year happiness, prosperity and even a true love.

Ha Pagoda Lots of pilgrims find Ha Pagoda to pray for a happy prosper year and a true love[/caption]

Thuong Dien to worship Buddha

Three- life statues placed on it represent for the past, present and future lives of Buddha.

Lord of Ha Pagoda is widespread noted for his supernatural power

A popular saying sings the miracles of “Duc Ong Chua Ha, Duc Ba Chua Huong” (Lord of Ha pagoda and Lady of Perfume Pagoda) to praise Lord and Lady who grant people all their wishes.

Ha Pagoda

Many locals and visitors pray Lord of Ha Pagoda for their wishes. Behind the main pagoda is Dien Mau, a place to worship Priest Tu Dao Hanh

  • The entrance of Dien Mau places a large censer and a couple of golden cranes.
  • Statues of a tortoise with a crane on its back is the symbol of a harmony between the heave and the earth.
  • Tortoise represents for the sky and longevity.
  • Crane represents for the earth and power.

Ha Pagoda Image of two cranes on tortoises’ back symbolizes for a harmonious relationship between the sky and the earth

An automated sandalwood statue of Tu Ðao Hanh that stands and sits is located in a red lacquered shrine trimmed with gold and covered with a curtain.

Ha Pagoda Flocks of people are praying in the sanctuary parts of Dien Mau

Opening hours

  • Opening days: All daysOpen at 6.m and close at 6p.mOn Tet or fourteenth days of month: Close later.

  • Appropriate time: Visitors should go the pagoda during the daytime.

Dress code: Visitors should pay attention to formal outfits, specifically no hat, shorts or mini skirt when visiting worshipping/sanctuary parts.

How to get there: By bus: 20C, 34, 40, 49 (Cost: 7000 VNDs/ ticket)

From Old quarters:

  • Taxi (11.500đ – 17.500VND/km)
  • Motorbike (25mins)

How to pray in Ha Pagoda

There are lots of small malls selling offerings and rose flowers for locals and tourists. ( Roses are often used for praying in here.)

When your purpose to visit here is praying for love, you should pray only in Dien Mau, however, you are highly recommended to pray in all sections of Ha pagoda in order to wish a year full of luck, happiness and prosperity.