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November 15, 2012
Vietnam travel guide

Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi city, Vietnam

Positioned on the bank of the West Lake in Hanoi, Tran Quoc Pagoda is well-known not only the oldest pagoda in Hanoi but also a symbol of Vietnam Buddhism culture. 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 location where Tran Quoc was placed is the mix of the West Lake and Red River. After that, it was removed to the Kim Ngu Islet (Golden Fish) because the river bank was crumbling and later was renamed Tran Quoc (National Defence). Unlike other ordinary pagodas, the Tran Quoc Pagoda was built in an intricate way. Behind the worshipping shrine is the Buddhist trinity followed by corridors, ten shrines and the belfry. In the pagoda, there are many valuable statues, such as the red lac statue trimmed with gold of Sakyamouni Buddha’s Parinirvana and many ancient stele, with the old- one made in 1639 by Doctoral lau- Nguyen Xuan Chinh recording the Pagoda’s history.

In 1959, when the Indian Prime Minister Rezendia Prasat visited Vietnam, he presented the Pagoda a Bodhi tree as a gift. The tree was grafted from the original holy tree where Sakyamuni sat in Zen (mediation) position 25 centuries ago. Nowadays, the Bodhi tree is growing very greenly and luxuriantly. Its large shadow mostly covers the pagoda’s yard. Tran Quoc Pagoda is currently famous as the historical and religious relic and become one of the most attractive destinations for tourists to stop by.

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