Located alongside the picturesque Huong River, Thien Mu Pagoda boasts captivating historical architecture, making it a truly alluring destination. The melodious sound of Thien Mu’s bell embodies the essence of Hue, resonating within the flowing waters of the Huong River as it winds its way from the Citadel to the sea. This enchanting experience leaves a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of both locals and visitors to Hue, the ancient capital. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Thien Mu Pagoda and let its timeless charm transport you to the heart of Vietnamese heritage.
How Thien Mu pagoda is unique?
Thien Mu Pagoda holds the distinction of being the oldest pagoda in Hue city, with deep historical significance. It is closely linked to the early endeavors of the Nguyen Lord in Dang Trong. Legend has it that when Nguyen Hoang was appointed to govern Thuan Hoa, he personally explored the area in search of a suitable settlement.
As he rode his horse along the banks of the Huong River, he came across a small hill that resembled a dragon turning its head, known as Ha Khe Mountain. Local residents shared a story that an old woman wearing a red blouse and green pants would appear here every night, proclaiming that a true Lord would come to this place and erect a pagoda to bring prosperity to the land.
This legend adds to the mystique and allure of Thien Mu Pagoda, emphasizing its pivotal role in the region’s history. Today, visitors can witness the ancient pagoda that stands as a testament to the foresight and ambition of Nguyen Hoang, symbolizing the rich cultural heritage and spiritual significance of Hue.
Therefore, this area became known as Thien Mu Son. It seemed the expansive ideas of Lord Nguyen Hoang matched the people’s desires. Therefore, he ordered to build a pagoda on a hill, overlooking the Huong River and named Thien Mu Tu (Thien Mu pagoda).
In reality, a pagoda of the Champa individuals previously stood on this site. Yes, the relic mentioned in the book O Chau Can Luc composed by Duong Van An in 1553. It had been not until 1601 the Lord Nguyen Hoang asked to build the pagoda. As a result of the development, prosperity and spread of Buddhism in Dang Trong, the Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu rebuilt the pagoda on a larger scale.
In 1710, this Lord ordered that a large bell with an inscribed instruction be cast. And in 1714, he asked to renovate the pagoda again and added several great architectural structures.
Addition, These included the Thien Vuong, Dai Hung and Thuyet Phap buildings, Tang Kinh Pavilion, Monks rooms and a home for religious meditation. A number of those buildings no longer exist today. Nguyen Phuc Chu himself wrote a narrative description describing the construction of the buildings. He praised the doctrine of the Buddhism, also about the merits of the Buddhism monk Thach Liem.
This was instrumental in assisting Lord Nguyen boost Buddhism in Dang Trong. They placed the inscribed stela on a large stone turtle with easy decorations which enhanced its beauty. As a result, Thien Mu pagoda was to be the most beautiful one in Dang Trong at the time by its enlarged scale and a natural landscape.
During the ups and downs of history, Thien Mu was once the place for sacrifices to the Deity under Tay Son’s reign in 1788. The Nguyen reign restored the pagoda many times.
In 1844, on the 80th birthday of Queen Thuan Thien Cao Hoang Hau (Gia Long’s wife and Thieu Tri’s grandmother), renovated the pagoda again. It renovated together with the construction of Tu Nhan Tower (later renamed Phuoc Duyen), Huong Nguyen temple and two steles inscribed with Thieu Tri Emperor’s poems.
Phuoc Duyen Tower is a famous symbolic link with Thien Mu Pagoda. It is 21 metres high, has seven floors, located in front of the pagoda and is visible from the Huong River. On each of the seven floors there is a statue of Buddha. There is a gold Buddha statue inside the tower a spiral staircase leads to the top floor. Huong Nguyen temple is in front of the Tower.
Factually, Thien Mu Pagoda was ranked one of the twenty most beautiful landscapes in Hue. Together with the poem Thien Mu chung thanh, the emperor Thieu Tri wrote it and inscribed on the stone stele set near the Pagoda gate. In 1862, Tu Duc King prayed for a child, he renamed the Pagoda as Linh Mu which means Holy Lady. Because the Emperor was afraid that the word Thien profaned Heaven, it means heavenly.
Finally, the Emperor allowed the reuse of the old name Thien Mu meaning Heavenly Lady in 1869. The Pagoda is still known by both names today.
In 1904, a terrible storm seriously damaged the Pagoda. The storm destroyed many structures become the ruins as well as Huong Nguyen Temple not visible.
In gereral, Thien Mu pagoda has remains many valuable architectural structures. They are Phuoc Duyen Tower, Dai Hung, Dia Tang and Quan Am temples, In addition to, the stone steles and bronze bells thanks to the re-constructions and restorations
Infact, Thien Mu Pagoda is also home to many valuable antiques of both historical and artistic value and importance. They are the statures Ho Phap, Thap Vuong, Di Lac Buddha, the three Buddhas symbolizing Past, Present and Future Lives.
The Pagoda is surrounded by a meticulously maintained garden filled with flowers and plants, creating a beautiful setting for visitors. One notable feature is the bonsai tree of Dao Tan, an ancestor of Vietnam’s Classical drama, adding a touch of cultural significance. Adjacent to it is the car left by the esteemed Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc, before his self-immolation in 1963, protesting the suppression of Buddhism by the Ngo Dinh Diem regime.
At the far end of the garden stands the Tower of the esteemed Buddhist monk, Thich Don Hau, a renowned leader of Thien Mu Pagoda. His lifelong dedication to the promotion of Buddhism and the betterment of society is celebrated here.
Stepping inside Thien Mu Pagoda, one can’t help but be inspired by the dreamy and romantic ambiance that permeates the air of Hue. Through centuries of existence, every architectural element within the pagoda reflects deep beliefs and exhibits a harmonious blend with the surrounding natural landscapes. In conclusion, by embarking on a journey to explore Hue’s tourism offerings and visiting Thien Mu Pagoda, tourists will find themselves immersed in a serene experience as they drift downstream on the Perfume River, allowing them to embrace the tranquility of life in peaceful Hue.
How to travel to Thien Mu pagoda?
- By boat: Take a dragon boat along Perfume River about 30 minutes to reach Thien Mu Pagoda with passing through river bank with beautiful scenery.
- By car/taxi/cyclo: Travel along Kim Long street and go ahead Nguyen Phuc Chu street. It takes about 10 minutes with 2km from city centre.
- From Hue to Danang : It is about 120km and take 2 hours on car
When is the best time to visit thien mu pagoda?
The best time to visit Thien Mu Pagoda is during the months of February to April and September to November, which are considered the peak tourist seasons in Hue, Vietnam. During these months, the weather is generally pleasant with milder temperatures and lower humidity.
In February to April, you can witness the blooming of colorful flowers in the surrounding garden, creating a vibrant and picturesque backdrop for your visit. The pagoda’s serene atmosphere and the fragrant scent of blossoms add to the overall experience.
September to November offers another great window to visit Thien Mu Pagoda. The weather during this time is usually cooler, making it more comfortable for exploring the pagoda and its surroundings. The autumn foliage adds a touch of beauty to the landscape, creating a stunning visual spectacle.
It’s important to note that Thien Mu Pagoda can be visited year-round, and each season has its own unique charm. However, the months mentioned above tend to be the most favorable in terms of weather conditions and the overall visitor experience.
To make the most of your visit, it’s advisable to arrive early in the day to avoid crowds and enjoy a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. Additionally, weekdays are generally less crowded than weekends, offering a more intimate experience at the pagoda.
Keep in mind that weather patterns can vary, so it’s always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before planning your visit.
It’s great for:
- People love to discover culture and religion
- All year round visiting
- Wearing polite clothes with long pants or jeans, T’shirt or pull
- No entrance fee
- Time opening from 8:00am to 6:00pm
You may check https/originvietnam.com/hue-tours and have quick look our special offer.
In conclusion, don’t miss the opportunity to experience the Thien Mu Pagoda, take a boat trip along the Perfume River, and trust Origin Travel to curate an unforgettable adventure. Immerse yourself in the spiritual beauty of the pagoda, enjoy the tranquil journey along the river, and let Origin Travel guide you through the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam. Answer this call to action and create lasting memories in Hue that will leave you inspired and captivated.