Hanoi Travel: The One-pillar pagoda
According to legend, ageing Emperor Ly Thai To of the Ly dynasty, who had no children, used to go to pagodas to pray to Buddha for a son. One night, he dreamt that he was granted a private audience to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who was seated on a great lotus flower in a square-shaped lotus pond on the western side of Thang Long Citadel, gave the King a baby boy. Not long after, when the Queen gave birth to a male child, the Emperor ordered the construction of a pagoda supported by only one pillar to resemble the lotus seat of his dream in the honour of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. According to a theory, the pagoda was built in a style of a lotus emerging out of the water. The temple is built of wood on a single stone pillar 1.25 m in diameter, and it is designed to resemble a lotus blossom, which is a Buddhist symbol of purity, since a lotus blossoms in a muddy pond. Every year when it came to April 8th in Lunar calendar, the King came to the pagoda for Buddha bathing ceremony and afterwards, released a bird.
Today’s form: What you see today of the pagoda is a new form recovered in 1955 when it was refurbished with a concrete pillar from its remnants by the Vietnamese government. Today's structure can be just called the replica of the original pagoda, which was a large building.
However, this unique shape of the pagoda together with the special story has been of great absorption to hundreds of thousands of national and international tourists! They believe that if you pray here, it will invoke well-beings and prosperity.
Opening time: The pagoda is open daily from 08:00 a.m to 05:00 p.m. Entrance is free.