Illustration photo. (Source: Internet)
Hanoi (VNA) - With over 1,000 years of history, Hanoi has been Vietnam’s centre of Buddhism for centuries. The city has more than 600 temples and pagodas, many of which are not only religious relics but also popular tourist sites.

Located on a small peninsula on the East side of West Lake, Tran Quoc is regarded as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi. The architecture of this Buddhist place of worship is a subtle combination between the solemn and beautiful landscape, and the peaceful and quiet ambiance of West Lake’s surface.

The old pagoda and its tranquil atmosphere give visitors a sensation of peace every time they are there.

Humbly standing on the busy Hang Duong street, Cau Dong pagoda was built to worship Buddha and to honor a general who contributed significantly to the prosperity of the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400).

As this pagoda has witnessed numerous historical changes over the centuries, its architecture reflects the quintessence of different dynasties that contributed to its multiple restorations.

Among the famous pagodas in Hanoi, visitors must not miss out on Quan Su pagoda. The pagoda was built in the shape of a Chinese Gong character, with three roofs in each building, and what makes it even more special are the unicorn statues carved on the roofs.

Thich Thanh Nhieu, Permanent Vice President of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Executive Council, said having gone through a lot of renovation, Quan Su pagoda has still managed to preserve its original architecture. The things that make the pagoda special are the curved roofs with carved unicorns on them.

It has been a long-lasting custom of Vietnamese people of visiting a pagoda when each New Year arrives. In Vietnam, the custom is described as “Le Chua” – in which “le” means not only visiting but also showing respects in all sincerity to Buddha and the Gods of the pagodas and temples.

Visiting pagodas during spring time not only has a spiritual meaning, but also aims to help the young generation understand more about the customs of the homeland.-VNA