Thursday, 2 April 2015
Ancient pagodas around Hanoi’s West Lake
From VietNamNet Bridge
"Around Hanoi’s most famous lake, Ho Tay (West Lake), are more than 20 temples and pagodas ranked as national relic sites for their unique cultural and architectural values such as Tran Quoc, Kim Lien, Pho Linh, Tao Sach and Van Nien.
Tran Quoc is one of the oldest temples in Vietnam, located near the West Lake, at the end of Thanh Nien road.
It was originally constructed in the sixth century during the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De (from 544 until 548), thus giving it an age of more than 1,450 years. When founded the temple was named Khai Quoc (National Founding) and was sited on the shores of the Red River, outside of the Yen Phu Dyke. When confronted with the river's encroachment, the temple was relocated in 1615 to Kim Ngu (Golden Fish) islet of the West Lake where it is now situated. A small causeway links it to the mainland. The last major repair to the temple was undertaken in 1815 when the main sanctuary, reception hall and posterior hall of the dead were renovated.
Over the years, the temple was variously named An Quoc (Pacification of the Realm) and Tran Bac (Guardian of the North) as well.
With its harmonious architecture taking advantage of the watery landscape, the pagoda is a picturesque attraction. The sunset views from the temple grounds are renowned.
Among the historic relics are statuary pieces dating to 1639.
On the grounds of Tran Quoc is a bodhi tree taken as cutting of the original tree in Bodh Gaya, India under which the Buddha sat and achieved enlightenment. The gift was made in 1959, marking the visit of the Indian president Rajendra Prasad..." more