THE ONE PILLAR
The one pillar pagoda is one of the most special architectures in Vietnam. The pagoda is situated next to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, right in the center of Hanoi. You can catch the image at the behind of 5.000VND coin.
The pagoda was constructed under dynasty Ly in 1049 because of the dream of the king. The legend goes that Ly Thai Tong was childless and dreamt that he met the bodhisattva sitting on a lotus and leading him to a similar building. Then the queen gave a birth to a male child. He was advised by Thien Tue monk to build the pagoda supported by only one pillar to resemble the lotus seat of his dream in the honor of the Bodhisattva. Every year, when it came to April 8th in lunar calendar, the king came to the pagoda for Buddha bathing ceremony and setting free.
In 1105, Ly Nhan Tong extended the pagoda and added Linh Chieu bond. It means to enlighten and awaken the pure soul of people. The pagoda was built of wood on a single stone pillar and it designed to resemble a lotus blossom, which is a Buddhist symbol of purity, since a lotus blossoms in a muddy pond. The pillar pitched deeply into pond like to transfer vitality of heaven to make bumper crop and fertile soil. Three years later, Y Lan queen had the copper bell cast. However, the bell was too large and heavy to hang. As it could not be tolled while left on the ground, it was moved into the countryside and deposited in farmland adjacent to Nhat Tru temple. When the Minh invaded in 1426, they ordered to smelt the bell to take the copper using for manufacturing weapons. So a great works disappeared at the time.
In 1954, the French forces destroyed the pagoda before withdrawing from Vietnam. Afterwards it was rebuilt basing on initial style by Nguyen Ba Lang architect.
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