Thien mu PagodaThe Pagoda of Thien mu
Located in Thua Thien - Hue, the Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the oldest and most fascinating religious sites in Vietnam.
Thien Mu Pagoda, colour shade
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The Mu Pagoda
Situated on a hillside with a view of the Song Huong (Perfume River), 4 km south-west of the Citadel, this pagoda is an Vietnamese legend and as strong a landmark for Hue as the Citadel. Thap Phuoc Duyen, a 21 m high eight-sided lighthouse, was erected in 1844 under Emperor Thieu Tri.
Every one of its seven floors is devoted to a Buddha, a Buddha who appears in man. The Thien Mu Pagoda was initially established in 1601 by Nguyen Hoang, governor of Thuan Hoa County. On the right side of the lighthouse is a pavillon with a stela from 1715. There is another hexagonal gazebo to the lefthand side of the lighthouse, which houses a huge 1710 clock that weighs 2052 kg and can be heard from a distance of 10 km.
It is a modest edifice in the inner court, behind the three-storey entry with three sculptures of buddhistic guards. There are three sculptures in the principal shrine behind the smiling Buddha: The Buddha of the past, A Di Da; Thich Ca, the historic Buddha (Sakyamuni); and Di Lac Buddha, the Buddha of the future.
A picturesque bike tour takes you south-west (parallel to the Perfume River) along the river bank Ð Tran Hung Dao, which merges into Ð Le Duan after the Phu Xuan Bridge. You can also reach Thien Mu Pagode by boot.
Thieu Pagoda - Hue, Vietnam
The Thien Mu Pagoda ("Heavenly Lady Pagoda") in Hue, one of the oldest and most beautiful of its kind in the world. It was erected in 1601 between a stream and a pinewood. One of the many interesting artefacts on the site is the vehicle that caused the Thich Quang Duc to burn himself in Saigon in 1963.
Thien Mu Pagoda has its origins in a folk legend: an old lady once came up on the mound and said that a gentleman would come and construct a Buddha pagoda for the wealth of the area. When Lord Nguyen Hoang heard of this, he had the pagoda of the "Celestial Lady" (Thien Mu) built.
The building began in 1601 under Lord Nguyen Hoang and was restored in 1665 by Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan. In 1710 Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu provided a large bells and in 1715 a stela on the back of a wonderful turtle. In 1864 Emperor Thieu Tri added the front Phuoc Dien Tower.
In 1943 the pagoda was badly destroyed, but after that it was completely restored for over 30 years. The Thien Mu Pagoda is located on the Ha Khe hillside, on the northern shore of the Perfume Rivers, a few kilometers south-west of the town. Located just south of the riverbanks, the temples are on seven consecutive levels, each of which is devoted to a Buddha or to a stage of illumination (depending on who you ask).
Phuoc Dien's eight-sided tower (1864) at the front of the building is 2 metres high and consists of seven floors. Close to the front door are 12 giant timber statues of scary guards with genuine face-hairs. There is a group of monastery houses in the centre, where the friars are usually engaged in their day-to-day activities of boiling, piling and weeding.
There is a house at the back of the compound that contains a nationwide relic: the automobile in which the friar Thich Quang Duc drove from his church to Saigon on June 11, 1963. On the northernmost end of the compound there is a large graveyard at the foot of the Truong Son mountain range and a well-kept pinewoods.
Accommodation:Hotels near Thien Mu PagodaNote: This information was correct on first publication and we do our best to keep it up to date, but the opening times and rates are subject to changes without prior notification. At the bottom is a site plan and an air photo of the Thien Mu Pagoda.