Being one of the most spiritual pagodas in Vietnam, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a renowned attraction for its deep cultural and Buddhist values. Coming to Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hanoi (over 1500 years old), you will enjoy a delightful and antiquated picturesqueness in the center of the crowded and fast-pacing city.
Don't miss your valuable chance to understand more about the belief and Buddhism practice of Hanoi people.
Location: Tran Quoc pagoda first foundation was on the bank of Red River, the crucial and main waterway of the capital. After that, people relocated the pagoda to the islet of Ho Tay (West Lake Hanoi).
As visiting holy sanctuary place, visitors must follow strictly fixed dress code.
In detail, NO hat, shorts, mini skirt or tank-top are allowed.
Visiting the pagoda, you can follow the traditional and usual routine of burning incense and offerings small amount of foods or money
In Vietnamese and Chinese culture, incense is often burned in odds number with the most frequent of 3 sticks, for the belief that odds numbers will bring luck.
Local people bring fruits and incense sticks in front of Buddhist statues at Tran Quoc pagoda to pray for health, good luck and success
"Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the most spiritual pagodas in Hanoi.", as locals usually say. Therefore, many tourists from other countries also come here to pray.
You get what you wish for as long as you live in a good way, be nice to everyone around you.
You can visit Tran Quoc Pagoda and pray anytime. Nevertheless, you may wanna avoid the crowded time, the 1st and 15th day of each month in the Lunar calendar. On these days, people pray for happiness. look for a peaceful mind after stressful days.
>>> Check out Best things to do in Hanoi
Tran Quoc Pagoda is the center and representative of Buddhism in Hanoi and Vietnam in general.
The worshipping of female Buddhas, known as “the Mothers” who takes care of the Vietnamese life, stands for the respect and morality of the Vietnamese.
A monk of Tran Quoc pagoda recite Buddhist scripture in the afternoon
Tran Quoc Pagoda (or Chua Tran Quoc) in Hanoi is the oldest Buddhist pagoda with the age of more than 1500 years old. During Ly Nam De times (541-547), the King demanded to build this construction. This is also a pagoda attached to the first state of Vietnam throughout history - the State of Van Xuan.
Tran Quoc Pagoda gate
Its name changed through the course of time:
The adjust in the name of this pagoda illustrates the wish of the people attached to this antiquated holy sanctuary.
The entrance way to go inside the 3 main houses area in Tran Quoc Pagoda
In the past, Tran Quoc Pagoda was Buddhist center of Thang Long Imperial city during Ly - Tran dynasty (11th - 14th century)
Besides, the pagoda was well-known as a first-class attraction. King and mandarins usually came here to do sightseeing, take an imperial carriage, worship on special occasions such as Tet holiday, festivals... Especially, people built many constructions here like: Ham Nguyen Palace, Thuy Hoa Palace... It served for unwinding and relaxed time of the King.
Tran Quoc Pagoda consists of 3 main houses and a tower with a dominant red color. Number 3 in Vietnamese belief represents luck and prosperity. With the harmonic arrangement of the lush green watery landscape beside, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a renowned picturesqueness.
Inside Tran Quoc Pagoda - a representative Buddhist architecture in Vietnam
The arrangement of 3 houses with different chamber strictly follow Buddhism norm. This is the reason that parts of the pagoda connected to form the Gong (工) radical.
The harmonic architecture of 3 main houses with the high tower in red, surrounded by jaded watery
For a deeper understanding, the lotus represents the Buddhist value of enduring clarity. Why?
We can notice that lotus bloom from dirty mud, yet never get uncleaned. Bodhi tree meanwhile is the symbol of boundless intellect and mind. This insightful juxtaposition of lotus and Bodhi tree has a deep Buddhism reference.
In addition, to symbolize for the supreme perception of Buddha, the bodhi tree also represents for a compassionate, altruistic and selfless heart of humans.
Bodhi tree in Tran Quoc pagoda Hanoi
For these reasons above, Thrillist appraises Tran Quoc Pagoda as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi. The unique architecture resembles a blooming lotus making people imagine to Buddha's lotus-shaped lamp support.
We can say, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a harmonious combination of ancient, imposing architecture with the serene ambiance of green garden and far-flung lake. That's why Ministry of Culture and Information recognized Tran Quoc Pagoda as a national monument in cultural and historical values in 1962.
Besides, coming to Tran Quoc pagoda, you shouldn't miss a chance to see many Buddhist and Bodhisattva statues. These are high-valued artistic statues like a set of worshipping statues in "Thuong dien" and copper-casting... Artisans made these statues sophisticatedly and minutely, which brings a religious and mysterious significance.
However, the biggest highlight is the statue "Phật Thích Ca nhập Niết bàn" - Sakyamuni enters Nirvana, made from wood, painted with gold-coated vermilion. This is the most beautiful Nirvana statue in Vietnam
If you like discovering quintessential beauty of ancient architecture and find out religious culture, don't forget visiting Tran Quoc Pagoda to have an impressive and memorable trip in Hanoi.