Coordinates : 16°27′13″N 107°32′41″E / 16.453599°N 107.544812°E / 16.453599; 107.544812
Pagoda of the Celestial Lady
VIETNAMESE Chùa Thiên Mụ
CHữ HáN 天姥寺
CHữ NôM 天姥
The PAGODA OF THE CELESTIAL LADY (Vietnamese : Chùa Thiên Mụ;
also called Linh Mụ Pagoda) is a historic temple in the city of
The pagoda sits on the Hà Khê hill, in the ward of Hương Long in
Huế. It is around 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the Citadel of Huế
constructed by the
* 1 History * 2 Notes * 3 References * 4 External links
Built in 1601 on the order of the first
Nguyễn lords , Nguyễn
Hoàng , who at that time was the governor of
Thuận Hóa (now known
as Huế). The Nguyen Lords were in name, officials of the ruling Lê
The original temple was simply constructed, then later expanded and refurbished. In 1665, major construction was undertaken by the Nguyễn Lord Nguyễn Phúc Tần .
In 1695, the Zen Master Thích Đại Sán, a member of the Tào Động sect, arrived from China. He had been invited to come to Huế as a guest of the Nguyễn Lords to start a Buddhist congregation and oversee its development. He was a noted Buddhist scholar of the Qing Dynasty and was patronised by the ruling Lord Nguyễn Phúc Chu and was appointed as the abbot of the pagoda. In the seventh month of 1696, he returned to China, but conferred bodhisattva vows on Chu.
In 1710, Chu funded the casting of a giant bell, which weighs 3,285
kg, and was regarded as one of the most prized cultural relics of its
time in Vietnam. The bell is said to be audible 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)
away and has been the subject of many poems and songs, including one
Thiệu Trị of the
In 1714, Chu oversaw another series of major expansions and
construction projects, the largest expansion phase in the pagoda's
history. The main set of triple gates were erected, in addition to
different shrines to the heavenly realms, the
Chu also organised for the staging of the vassana retreat which occurs annually between the full moon of the fourth and the seventh lunar month. The tradition had been inaugurated in the time of Gautama Buddha in ancient India to coincide in the rainy season. During this time, monks would stay in one place and pursue their spiritual activities, rather than wandering around and expounding the dharma to the populace, since they were prone to step on living beings during this time due to the water covering their paths. He also organised an expedition to China to bring back copies of the Tripitaka Canon and the Mahayana sutras, which comprised more than one thousand volumes, and interred them in the pagoda.
During the 19th century, the pagoda was patronised by the emperors of the Nguyễn Dynasty, which was founded in 1802 by Emperor Gia Long after his unification of modern Vietnam. His successor Minh Mạng funded further expansion and renovation of the temple. The stone turtle with a stele on its back
Emperor Thiệu Trị , who succeeded Minh Mạng, erected the Từ Nhân Tower in 1844, which is now known as the Phước Duyên tower. The brick tower stands 21 m and is of octagonal shape and has seven stories, each of which is dedicated to a different Buddha. The tower has stood there since, overlooking the Perfume River, and has become synonymous with the landscape of Huế and the Perfume River. Its impact is such that it has become the unofficial symbol of the city.
The temple also contains a statue of a large marble turtle , a symbol of longevity. Beside the tower on either side are structures that record the architectural history of the tower, as well as various poems composed by Thiệu Trị.
The pagoda and its buildings were severely damaged in a cyclone in
Thanh Thai authorised reconstructions in 1907 and it has
continued to the current day, although it was still substantially less
grand and expansive as its halcyon days of the
In the main hall, there is a statue of
During the summer of 1963, Thien Mu Pagoda, like many in South
In the early 1980s, a person was murdered near the pagoda and the site became the focal point of anti-communist protests, closing traffics around the Phú Xuân Bridge. The communist government responded by arresting monks on the charge of disturbing traffic flow and public order.
The temple also houses the Austin motor vehicle in which Thich Quang Duc was driven to his self-immolation in Saigon in 1963 against the Diem regime. It was the first of a series of self-immolations by members of the Buddhist clergy, which brought the plight of Buddhists to the attention of the international community.
* ^ A B C D E F Ray, Nick (2005). Vietnam. Lonely Planet . pp. 211–212. ISBN 1-74059-677-3 . * ^ A B C D E F G H I J K L M Võ Văn Tường. "Các chùa miền Trung" (in Vietnamese). Buddhism Today . Retrieved 2008-02-22. * ^ Jones, pp. 142–143. * ^ Jacobs, pp. 247–250.
* Jacobs, Seth (2006). Cold War Mandarin:
Ngo Dinh Diem
Media related to Pagoda of the Celestial Lady at Wikimedia Commons
* (Vietnamese) Buddhist temples in Vietnam
* v * t * e
Buddhist temples in Huế