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One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar Pagoda: The peculiar lotus-like work in the heart of Hanoi

28/11/2022 196 views

The One Pillar Pagoda should be listed as one of your stops when visiting Vietnam. Together with other Hanoi tourist attractions, the pagoda is in the limelight for its outstanding architecture.

One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar Pagoda in the heart of Hanoi (Source: Collected)

Being a symbol of Hanoi’s thousand years of history, the One Pillar Pagoda totally deserves foreign and domestic attention. Despite its long history, the charm of the pagoda is still well-preserved. Here, visitors will find a breath of a once great dynasty, in which Buddhism and architecture blossomed.

1. Things to know about One Pillar Pagoda Vietnam

The One Pillar Pagoda is a shrine supported by a single pillar. It used to go by the name “Lien Hoa Dai”. However, only a few people are familiar with this name.

Tourists can visit the One Pillar Pagoda all year round. Still, the best time to experience its natural, cultural, and spiritual grandeur to the fullest is summer. In summer, visitors will see the marvelous sight of the pagoda and the lake below, thanks to the fresh pink lotus flowers that blossom there.

One Pillar Pagoda

The One Pillar Pagoda on a summer day (Source: @boginya_inna)

  • One Pillar Pagoda location: Ong Ich Khiem Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, about 2 kilometers away from Hanoi Old Quarter
  • One Pillar Pagoda opening hours: Every day, from 7 am to 6 pm
  • One Pillar Pagoda entrance fee: VND25,000

Additionally, the first and fifteenth days of the lunar month are some special occasions. Coming to the pagoda on these days, you can witness the flow of worshipers and see the beauty of Vietnamese culture and belief. As this is a sacred spiritual and historical site, you should wear formal non-revealing clothes to the pagoda.

2. When was the One Pillar Pagoda built?

The One Pillar Pagoda was constructed in 1049 by Ly Thai Thong. According to historical documents, Ly Thai Thong encountered the Buddhist goddess Avalokiteshvara in a dream. Then, he decided to build a shrine on a single pillar. At the end of the French colonial period, the One Pillar Pagoda was badly damaged in 1954. The Vietnamese government rebuilt the pagoda the following year, using the Nguyen dynasty’s architecture as an inspiration.

The One Pillar Pagoda Vietnam, with its significance in history, culture, and architecture, has been around for a thousand years. It has come to represent a millennium of Hanoi’s culture.

One Pillar Pagoda

The architectural complex of the One Pillar Pagoda (Source: Collected)

3. What’s special about the One Pillar Pagoda architecture?

The One Pillar Pagoda was recognized by the Asian Book of Records as “the most unique temple in Asia” in 2012. The Vietnam Book of Records also recognized the pagoda as “the temple with the most unique architecture in Vietnam.”

3.1. The main building (Lien Hoa Dai)

Lien Hoa Dai is the central part of the One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi. This construction consists of 3 main components: a stone pillar, the pagoda building, and the roof.

The pillar is a huge cylindrical stone that supports the whole structure of the pagoda building, along with a set of sturdy wooden beams. The wooden building has a square shape with each side measuring three meters long. Inside the pagoda is a statue of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, which carries the Vietnamese people’s Buddhist spirit and belief. The roof is made of red tiles, with two dragon figures facing each other on top, which represent the growth and balance between yin and yang in Eastern culture.

One Pillar Pagoda

The main building of the One Pillar Pagoda (Source: @cruzcardenasd)

3.2. The three-arched-door gate (Tam Quan Gate)

Tam Quan Gate is a new construction, with its architecture inspired by traditional Vietnamese temples and pagodas. Going past the three-arched-door gate, you will enter a modest space that is used by Buddhist monks.

One Pillar Pagoda

The solemn Tam Quan Gate in the One Pillar Pagoda (Source: Collected)

3.3. The stairs leading to the main hall

Leading to Lien Hoa Dai are thirteen stair steps with a width of roughly 1.4 meters. These steps were built in the Ly Dynasty, so they still retain the ancient look of the architectural style of that time. The two sides of the stairway are brick walls with stone steles introducing the pagoda’s history.

One Pillar Pagoda

The stairway still carries the ancient look (Source: @vittorericcardo)

3.4. The Bodhi tree area in the grounds

There is a large Bodhi tree in the pagoda grounds – a personal gift from the President of India to President Ho Chi Minh during a visit in February 1958. The Bodhi tree has lush green branches and leaves.

One Pillar Pagoda

The huge Bodhi tree in the grounds of the One Pillar Pagoda (Source: Collected)

4. Top well-known tourist attractions near the One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi

There are many ways to get to the One Pillar Pagoda, such as by bus, taxi, or motorbike. If you choose to go by a private vehicle, you can easily visit other attractive tourist attractions nearby.

  • Hoan Kiem Lake: Hoan Kiem Lake is another cultural and historical symbol of Hanoi and also an attraction for domestic and foreign tourists. It can be said that if you have not visited Hoan Kiem Lake, you have not come to this land of a-thousand-year history.
One Pillar Pagoda

Hoan Kiem Lake in the morning (Source: Collected)

  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Located to the right of the One Pillar Pagoda is Ba Dinh Square, where Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is situated. In addition, the pagoda is also close to other attractions in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, such as the stilt house and Ho Chi Minh Museum.
One Pillar Pagoda

The national flag flying in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum courtyard (Source: Collected)

  • Temple of Literature: This Vietnam’s first university is just 1.4 kilometers away from the One Pillar Pagoda. It was built under the dynasty of King Ly Thanh Tong in 1070.
One Pillar Pagoda

The first university of Vietnam, the Temple of Literature (Source: Collected)

You should also visit other tourist destinations in Hanoi, such as West Lake, Hoa Lo Prison, Water Puppet Theater, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, etc. Among them, Vinpearl Aquarium and VinKE Times City are not-to-be-missed destinations for your journey to Hanoi to be complete.

Vinpearl Aquarium Times City is one of the biggest aquariums in Vietnam, with an area of around 4,000 square meters, and home to more than 30,000 different sea animals from various continents.

One Pillar Pagoda

Vinpearl Aquarium Times City

Meanwhile, VinKE Times City provides a play-and-learn setting where children can learn about their future prospects. These two locations will undoubtedly provide you and your loved ones with a wealth of joyful experiences!

One Pillar Pagoda

VinKE Times City

>>> Book tickets of Vinpearl Aquarium and VinKE for a complete Hanoi tour!

The One Pillar Pagoda is a must-visit location during your trip to Hanoi. Hopefully, the information provided above will be of great help for your travel plans. You will have a chance to deepen your knowledge of Vietnam and enjoy a memorable vacation here.

>>> For a more interesting experience, do not forget to book tickets of Vinpearl Aquarium and VinKE in advance!

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