Tran Quoc Pagoda The Oldest temple in Hanoi
Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the most beautiful pagodas in the world, is generously bestowed with picturesque natural sceneries and dedicated architecture works.
Located in the heart of the capital city Hanoi, Tran Quoc is not only an ideal place for gaining insights into spiritual, historical, and architectural values but also is always on the list of the most attracting tourist destinations of Hanoi.
Tran Quoc is a 1.500-year-old pagoda, the most ancient one in Hanoi. Situated on a small peaceful island in the East of West Lake in Tay Ho District, Tran Quoc Pagoda is the harmonious combination between the majesty of the whole architecture and the elegance of lively green gardens, together with a dreamlike lake. Thus, it is not difficult to understand when Tran Quoc was voted by the prestigious Thrillist site as one of the most beautiful pagodas in the world.
An outstanding architecture
The whole temple is a complex consisting of three main parts – forecourt, a place used for burning offerings, and upper palace. The gate leading to the pagoda’s interior stands out with golden painted letters and two meaningful parallel sentences written in Nom script. At first, “Tran Quoc” was not the original name of this temple but “Khai Quoc” ( the foundation of a nation) was. After many name-changing times, since Le Hy Tong King’s reign, the name “Tran Quoc” has remained popular until now.
Moreover, the pagoda was once a Buddhist center of Thang Long citadel during the Ly – Tran dynasty. The King and his mandarins often chose Tran Quoc as a place of worship during special occasions like Tet holiday. When stepping inside the temple’s gate, visitors will not only feel themselves surrounded by a tranquil sanctuary lying in the heart of a busy city, but also leave the burdens of everyday life behind and enjoy precious peaceful moments.
In terms of architecture, Tran Quoc Pagoda takes the shape of a blooming lotus, resembling the lotus-shaped lamp support of the Great Buddha. In front of the main facade is a large courtyard with red tiled brick, a large incense burner in the middle for visitors and Buddhists to offer incense.
In addition to the original structure, in 2003, the pagoda opened for public use a 15-meter high Lotus Stupa. The stupa has 11 floors, each of which consists of 6 white Amitabha Buddha statues with elegant gems. At the top of the stupa lies a stone-carved lotus tower.
Furthermore, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a home of many Buddha sculptures which are well-known for their great aesthetic values as well as other historical, cultural and religious objects.