Being the first country that became a large Buddhism center after India, Vietnam is well-known for its charming religious monuments built not to represent the contrast to Vietnamese natural beauties but to create a wonderful balance between religion and nature by bringing them into a harmonious unity.
Probably the most incredible representatives of Vietnamese religious architecture are pagodas, collections of stepped pyramidal forms creating the beautifully ornamented towers which are supposed to build a bond between the humanity and the heavenly mightiness. If you read on, you’ll find out what the most popular pagodas in Vietnam are.
1. Chua Tran Quoc
The oldest and probably the most beautiful pagoda in Vietnam was built during the 6th century on the bank of the Red River and it was originally named Khai Quoc.
Nowadays, it is known as Chua Tran Quoc and as the stele from 1639 says, it was moved to the incredible area of the West Lake in Hanoi in the 17th century. Since then, it has remained the most impressive decoration of this area, attracting a large number of tourists.
2. Chua Dau
With its three floors and the 17-meter tall tower named Hoa Phong, the stunning Chua Dau pagoda represents the cultural, historical, and religious hotspot of the province Bac Ninh, surrounded by numerous other important buildings, including temples, tombs, and Luy Lau citadel.
Located in the area of Thuan Than district, only 30 kilometers away from Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, it was built in the 14th century and has been renovated several times in the following centuries. Every April 8th, this pagoda organizes a festival widely popular in the area of Northern Vietnam, dedicated to Buddha Man Nuong.
3. Chua Con Son
Among the local people, this pagoda is also known as Thien Tu Phuc Monastery and it was established in the 13th century but it was several times improved and renewed, especially during the 17th and 18th century.
image source: Wikimedia Commons
With more than 80 rooms and 385 statues tall up to three meters, including the oldest statue which is Amida, this impressive pagoda is also known for the small garden separating the pagoda and the ancestor house, where you can find more incredible statues including the statue of Trang Nguyen Dan, Nguyen Trai etc. Chua Con Son is situated in Hai Duong Province, and you can visit it in Cong Hoa Commune of Chi Linh District.
4. Chua Huong
If you decide to visit Hatay province, you should not forget to take a trip to pagoda Chua Huong, 75 kilometers away from Hanoi Chua Huong, internationally known as Perfume Pagoda. It is the largest pagoda complex in the entire country.
Located in the picturesque area abundant with the incredible mountainous and riverside landscapes, this pagoda is also an incredible place for you to get in touch with the intact nature and experience one of the longest festivals in Vietnam, lasting for first three months of the Lunar Year, hosted by Chua Huong.
5. Chua Thien Mu
Tourists who come to explore the Citadel of Hue will also be able to enjoy the beauties of the pagoda Chua Thien Mu built in the very beginning of the 17th century and located about 3 kilometers away from the Citadel.
There is a legend related to the name of this pagoda which says that this building was constructed by the lord Nguyen Hoang, when he heard a woman on the top of the hill where the pagoda is located today saying that a Lord would come to the area and build a pagoda, which will make the country rise and prosper. Nguyen Hoang said it was the pagoda of the Heavenly Lady.