Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue

4 reviews

Thien Mu Pagoda has its roots in a local legend: an old woman once appeared on the hill and said that a Lord would come and build a Buddhist pagoda for the country’s prosperity. Hearing of this, Lord Nguyen Hoang ordered the construction of the pagoda of the “Heavenly Lady” (Thien Mu).

Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue

Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue

Thien Mu Pagoda is situated on Ha Khe hill, on the north bank of the Perfume River a few miles southwest of central Hue. The temple complex stretches north from the river banks in seven successive tiers, each of which is dedicated to a human form taken by the Buddha or a step to enlightenment (depending on whom you ask).

The octagonal Phuoc Dien Tower (1864) in the front of the complex rises 2m meters high in seven levels. Dai Hung shrine, the main-hall, presents a magnificent architecture. Near the entrance gate are 12 huge wooden sculptures of fearsome temple guardians, with real facial hair. The great bell (2.5m high, 3,285kg) from 1710 and tortoise with inscribed stele (2.58 m high) from 1715 are housed in the main building.

A complex of monastic buildings lies in the center, where the monks are usually involved in their daily routines of cooking, stacking wood, and whacking weeds. Novices might also be seen practicing their calligraphy.

A building near the rear of the complex houses a national relic: the car in which the monk Thich Quang Duc rode from his temple to Saigon on June 11, 1963. He stepped out of the car in an intersection, sat down in the lotus position, and burned himself to death in protest against the regime’s violations of religious freedom.

At the far north end of the complex is a large cemetery at the base of the Truong Son mountains and a well-kept garden of pine trees.

Hynos Travel provides a wide range of day tours, multi-day tours, tour packages which daily depart from Hue, Da Nang, and Hoi An. For more information or tour reservation, please contact

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