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Exploring the history, architecture, and tourism of Perfume pagoda Hanoi

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Huong Pagoda's architecture (Perfume Pagoda)
Huong Pagoda’s architecture (Perfume Pagoda) – Source: Internet

Huong Pagoda, commonly known as the Perfume Pagoda, is in the My Duc neighborhood of Hanoi’s Huong Son commune. Perfume Pagoda Hanoi is a complex of ancient and spiritual relics with many typical cultural features of the Vietnamese nation, especially spiritual culture.  Coming to Perfume Pagoda, you can see and burn incense at Buddhist temples, temples of gods, and ancient and dignified communal houses. If you want details about this temple, follow the information about Hanoi Huong Pagoda that Lily’s Travel has compiled below!

Huong Pagoda’s architecture (Perfume Pagoda)

Perfume Pagoda
Perfume Pagoda – Source: Internet

The whole complex of Huong Pagoda architecture is scattered in Yen Stream Valley, including Ngoai Pagoda and Trong Pagoda. Visitors will come from the Duc Wharf upstream to the Yen Stream to the Ngoai Pagoda, still commonly known as the Tro Pagoda. The triple-view Ngoai Pagoda is constructed on three sizable courtyards that are entirely tiled, with a 3-story bell tower added to the third courtyard. The two uncovered triangular gables on the top floor, which are typical of old architecture, are the architectural block’s most striking feature.

Unlike the architecture of Ngoai Pagoda, built by humans, Trong Pagoda originated from a natural ancient cave. When you visit this pagoda, you’ll see a lengthy stone stairway with a total of 120 steps and four words inscribed with the phrase Huong Tich Dong Mon directly at the entrance to the cave. Through the five Chinese letters “Nam Thien De Nhat Dong” that were created in 1770, the remnants and historical artifacts are still preserved here. Visitors are drawn to Huong Pagoda by its surroundings in addition to its spiritual attractiveness. The Yen stream is an attractive tourist destination because it has pure water year-round and is surrounded by rich vegetation in all four seasons. If you go sightseeing, you must have to buy a boat ticket.

Sitting on a small poison boat drifting along the stream, you can see the beauty of a different flower each season. It is the bright and brilliant red color of rice flowers every summer, the dreamy light purple of water lilies every late autumn, or the pure white color filled with the sky of banana and plum flowers every spring. Because of that, the ferry station by the small stream is always crowded with people visiting.

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Huong Pagoda Festivals

Huong Pagoda Festivals
Huong Pagoda Festivals – Source: Internet

Every spring festival, people all over the country enthusiastically make pilgrimages to the land of Buddha and participate in the Huong Pagoda festival. The opening day is the sixth day of the first lunar month. On the occasion of the holiday, millions of Buddhists and tourists from all over the world enthusiastically attend the Perfume Pagoda festival. The Perfume Pagoda Festival’s ceremony is straightforward. One day before the festival’s opening, all temples, pagodas, communal houses and shrines were filled with incense smoke. Huong Pagoda Festival combines unique ethnic and cultural activities such as boating, mountain climbing, Cheo and Van singing. On the festival days, Huong Pagoda is bustling with hundreds of boats.

Huong Pagoda Festival combines unique ethnic cultural activities such as boating, mountain climbing and Cheo–Van singing. On festival days, Huong Pagoda bustles in and out of hundreds of boats. The unique feature of Huong Pagoda is sitting on a boat to enjoy the scenery like lost in the nascent Buddha realm. To accommodate attendees from near and far, the celebration will feature incense offerings, worship rituals, and cultural events. When traveling here, the primary routes are Thien Tru – Huong Tich, Long Van, Tuyet Son, and Thanh Son.

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Places to visit when going to Huong Pagoda in Hanoi

Duc Wharf

Duc Wharf
Duc Wharf – Source: Internet

Ben Duc’s Duc Wharf serves as the pilgrimage’s initial beginning point. Normally, the trip from Hanoi to Ben Duc takes more than two hours. Ben Duc has thousands of rowing boats to shuttle visitors during the annual festival months. This one-hour boat ride on the Yen Vi Stream from Ben Duc is the highlight of the trip for many guests and has served as an inspiration for several well-known poets.

Temple Trinh

Temple Trinh
Temple Trinh – Source: Internet

Trinh Temple, also known as Thuong Quan Temple, about 300m from Ben Duc, is the first stop of Huong Pagoda. The temple honors General Sima, who assisted King Hung in defending the country from foreign invaders, and is located at the base of Ngu Nhac mountain. The temple was extensively damaged during the 20th-century conflict with French colonialists, and it was reconstructed in 1992.

Yen Stream

Yen Stream
Yen Stream – Source: Internet

Yen stream flows between two mountains, 3km long. However, when sitting on the boat leisurely enjoying the scenery, you can feel the endless stream. Yen Vi Stream (or Yen Stream), a much more romantic and picturesque route to Huong Pagoda, is where most people take a boat despite the fact that there is a handy trail from Ben Duc to Huong Mountain.

When streaming along Suoi Yen, visitors will admire the beautiful scenery of green rice fields and jagged limestone mountains at the foot of Huong Mountain. The left half of Phoenix Mountain and Doi Cheo Mountain, which resembles an Indian serpent, are also visible from the boat. Visitors stop at Trinh Temple, which is located on Ngu Nhac Mountain to the right, to light incense for Than Nui Mountain.

Thien Tru Pagoda

Thien Tru Pagoda
Thien Tru Pagoda – Source: Internet

After disembarking the boat, your first stop will be Thien Tru Pagoda, also referred to as Ngoai Pagoda. It is one of the main venues of the entire complex and the site of the festival’s opening ceremony.

Huong Tich Cave

Huong Tich Cave
Huong Tich Cave – Source: Internet

There are two ways to get to Huong Tich Cave: it takes about 1 hour to climb the mountain or travel by cable car. In just a few minutes, the cable car will carry you to the mountain’s summit, where you can enjoy the amazing views. You can also buy a one-way ticket to the mountain for a less grueling hike down the mountain. The cable car trip toHuong Tich Cave only takes 10-15 minutes to reach the cave entrance. While inside the cabin, you may take in the beautiful splendor of the surroundings, which include mountains, forests, and pagodas.

Huong Tich cave is considered the leading destination for pilgrims coming to the Huong Pagoda complex because it has Huong Pagoda, also known as “Trong Pagoda”. The massive entrance of the cave and the pagoda amazes visitors because the cave looks like a dragon’s mouth is opening. On the wall at the mouth of the cave, there is an ancient Vietnamese sentence: “Nam Thien De Nhat Dong” from 1770. Visitors to Trong Pagoda will be astounded by the abundance of Buddha and Buddha God statues inside. The Quan Yin Buddha Statue is the most striking statue in this location. Additionally, the stalagmites inside the cave contain a large number of natural stalactites. Over the years, some of them have become smooth because it is believed that miracles and good fortune will come into their lives if touched and rubbed.

There are 2 options to go to Huong Tich Cave: hiking or taking the cable car. The climbing journey lasts for an hour with thousands of stone steps with high slopes, requiring excellent physical strength of the climber. Visitors should wear comfortable shoes or sandals because there are occasionally some slick stone steps. However, it was a memorable experience, with spectacular scenery. You can feel the towering greenery around you and sometimes catch a glimpse of the daily life of the local farmer.

Giai Oan Pagoda

Giai Oan Pagoda
Giai Oan Pagoda – Source: Internet

Giai Oan Pagoda is located in the middle of the route between Thien Tru Pagoda and Huong Tich Cave. Meaning “Temple of Appearances”, this temple is a place where people believe that the gods can purify the soul, cure suffering and bless childless families. Suoi Lau Oan, which comes from nine flowing springs, and Long Tuyen Well, which has naturally blue water, are the pagoda’s highlights.

Transportation 

There are many different ways to get to Huong Pagoda from the center of Hanoi. You can choose to take a public bus, rent a motorbike or a car there.

Bus 

There is a public bus line No. 103 running from My Dinh Bus Station to Huong Pagoda and vice versa. The bus operates from 5:00 to 8:00 daily with a frequency of every 15 minutes. In terms of cost, there is no cheaper option because the ticket is only 9,000 VND/one-way ticket/person. This is a very economical choice, but there are also some inconveniences such as: It takes a long time to travel, has to be crowded at rush hour and worse, cannot find a seat.

Motorcycles

Riding a motorbike is extremely convenient because you can freely take the initiative in your journey without having to wait. After visiting Huong Pagoda relic, you can visit other nearby destinations to save time for the schedule.

A private car

The safest, fastest and most comfortable way to travel from Hanoi to Huong Pagoda is to rent a private car. If you travel with a group of friends or family, choose to rent a car with a private driver.

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