Located on a small peninsula on the East side of Hanoi West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda is regarded as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi with its history line of more than 1,500 years. The architecture of this Buddhist center is a subtle combination between the solemn and beautiful landscape on the peaceful and quiet ambiance of West Lake’s surface. Thanks to these historical and architectural values, Tran Quoc Pagoda attracts many tourists to pay a visit, both inside and outside of Vietnam. Tran Quoc Pagoda was originally built in the age of King Ly Nam De (544 – 548) with the former name of Khai Quoc, which means “National Founder”.
The precinct of Tran Quoc Pagoda is highlighted by a high stupa that you may recognize from a far erected in 1998. This stupa is composed of 11 floors with a height of 15m; each floor has a vaulted window holding a statue of Amitabha made from gemstone. On the top stands a nine-storey lotus (Cửu đỉnh liên hoa) and is also gemstone. This stupa is situated symmetrically with the 50-year-old Bodhi tree gifted by former Indian President on the occasion of his visit to Hanoi in 1959. Abbot Thich Thanh Nha of Tran Quoc Pagoda explains the meaning of this correlation: “The lotus represent Buddha while the Bodhi is a symbol of supreme knowledge”.
Not only that, Tran Quoc Temple is also a small museum of priceless antiques dated thousands to hundreds years old like worshiping statues in the front house. These statues are all engraved and polished meticulously by skillful craftsmen, which all bear spectacular features.
With all the historical and architectural values it possesses, Tran Quoc Pagoda is not only worth visiting as a sacred sanctuary of Buddhism attracting countless Buddhist believers; but also an indispensible destination for cultural explorers to Vietnam.
Address: Located on West lake, Thanh Nien road, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Entrance fee: Free