The temple is built of wood on a single stone pillar 1.25 m in diameter and 4 m in height, and it is designed to resemble a lotus blossom, which is a Buddhist symbol of purity, since a lotus blossoms in a muddy pond. In 1954, the French Union forces destroyed the pagoda before withdrawing from Vietnam after the First Indochina War. It was rebuilt afterwards.
Location: Ong Ich Khiem Street, Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.
Opening hours: 08:00 - 17:00 (every day)
Entrance Fee: free
Dress code: Wear full-length clothes to express your respect and appropriate to native culture.
History of One Pillar Pagoda
One Pillar Pagoda, as known as Dien Huu pagoda or Lien Hoa Dai, was built in 1049 by Ly Thai Tong (1028-1054), a king of Ly’s dynasty. Its name means “long happiness and prosperity”. In Vietnamese language, One Pillar Pagoda is called Nhat Tru Thap.
According to folk legend, the king was old but had no child. Each day, he used to go to pagodas to pray to Buddha for a son. One night, he dreamt that he saw Quan Am Bo Tat sitting on the lotus pond that lightened up gorgeous halos and gave him a baby. When he woke up, the king told his subjects about that. A few months later, the queen gave birth to a prince. The king was at the top of the world. He decided to construct a pagoda with only one pillar to resemble a giant lotus blossom to show deep gratitude to Quan Am Bo Tat.
In 1105, King Ly Nhan Tong renovated and expanded the pagoda with Linh Chieu Lake added.
In 1954, French colonialists set mine to destroy One Pillar Pagoda; there was only the pillar with some wooden beams remained in confusion.
In 1955, the municipal government restored and preserved the pagoda as it is now.
In 1962, One Pillar Pagoda Complex was recognized as National Historic Heritage and “The Pagoda with the Most Unique Architecture in Asia” by Asia Record Organization.
One Pillar Pagoda Highlights
The pagoda is situated in the clusters of Ho Chi Minh relics that attract a large number of tourists annually. The special feature of One Pillar Pagoda’s architecture is all pagoda laid on a pillar. It is a harmonious combination of spectacular ideas and architectural perfection. Besides that, it also contains philosophical meanings.
The round pillar represents the sky and Yang while the square pond represents the law and Yin, which demonstrates the law of circulation of the universe.
Seeing from a distance, One Pillar Pagoda looks like a lotus flower emerging from the water’s surface. The lotus delicate beauty is a symbol of intelligence, elevated personality and simple virtue of Vietnamese people.
This familiar symbol of Hanoi appears in a lot of newspapers, books as well as educational programs. It has also appeared in the 5,000 Coin Vietnamese dong in the past.
One Pillar Pagoda Architecture
One Pillar pagoda architecture is a typical Hanoi attraction for cultural and spiritual symbo
A replica was built in Thủ Đức in Saigon in the late 1950s and early 1960s.