The One Pillar Pagoda was one of Hanoi’s bigger disappointments for me. If it had been the original 1049 structure built to resemble a lotus blossom floating on the water, it would have been splendid. But the last thing the French did before leaving Hanoi to the Vietnamese in 1954 was to completely destroy the obviously non-military/Communist structure for no apparent reason. It was rebuilt by the new government in a bit too concrete style. Still worth a peek as conveniently located and free.
Quite a must see since this temple is an architectural gem in Hanoi and on every postcard that you can find in seedy tourist shops. This pagoda is built after an Emperor hallucinated and saw a goddess sitting on a lotus leaf. The goddess promised that he would have a son which he eventually did.
Now, other than the Red Huc Bridge at Ho An Kiem Lake, the one-pillar pagoda is the second most recognisable icon in Hanoi. Yes, this structure stands on one leg and it is built in such a way so as to reflect a lotus rising out of the water. I suppose it might looked better in its original wooden structure but we have the French to thank for the new concrete structure. Hmm, yes, the French destroyed this temple during their retreat in 1954. No reason was given..
Opening Times: Daily 6 AM-6 PM; 6 AM-9 PM
This is a nice little side step after your visit to 'Uncle Ho's' house.
Originally built in the 11th century but destroyed on numerous occasions, the latest rebuild was undertaken in the 1950s after the French undertook their destruction before withdrawing from Vietnam. This tiny interior is set atop a single concrete pillar which emerges from a small pond.
The One Pillar Pagoda is often mentioned to be one of Hanoi's most beautiful pagodas. Every tourist guidebook mentions it as a must-see. It's more or less the number one sight in Hanoi. You HAVE to see it!
Well, do you? It' basically only a pagoda standing on one pillar. While this surely is an interesting way to build a pagoda, Chua Mot Cot (in Vietnamese) is nothing but that. Standing on one pillar in a little dirty pond, supposedly looking like a lotus blossom, and being overrun by hordes of tourists and Vietnamese alike, I'd recommend skipping it. If you want to go there, combine it with a visit to Ho Chi Minh Museum or Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, both of which are just around the corner. Chua Mot Cot is okay, but there are several other pagodas that are more interesting. Furthermore, the original pagoda was destroyed by the French in 1954, so the one you see is only a copy of the original from 1049.
This tip continues from the above.
The one-pillar pagoda is special for its history and the myths and beliefs that surrounds it. If you visit expecting to see an architectural marvel, then you're likely to be dissapointed.
Our guide explained that people from around Vietnam visited this temple to pray for a son. In traditional Chinese families, the need to carry on the family name is of the utmost importance and therefore a son is prefered over a daughter.
A few unmarried ladies in my group stepped forward to say some prayers at the temple. I guess the longing to have a child, whether male or female is always present. A few of us who are already married with kids stayed conspicuously away...just in case we were inadvertently "blessed" by the the Goddess of Mercy. (smile)
What suprised me was when my male colleague also stepped forward and walked up the steps of the temple. As far as I know, he's married with two University going kids...
The legend that surrounds the One Pillar Pagoda is beautiful and romantic.
The king that ruled this country a long time ago was not married, but he longed for a son. One night as he lay sleeping he dreamt that a beautiful lady seated on a Lotus Flower came to him. In the palm of her hands she held a new born baby which she handed over to him. Recognising the Lady in his dream as the Goddess of Mercy, the king built a one-pillar pagoda, to represent the stalk of the lotus flower. Soon after, the young king married a young girl from a nearby village and they were blessed with a son and heir.
The lotus is a key feature of Buddhism, as the lord Buddha is always depicted seated on the lotus. The Goddess of Mercy, Kwan Yin, is also pictured on the lotus.
The original wooden pagoda built by the king was destroyed but has since been rebuilt in cement.
From Ho's mausoleum, it was a short walk to the one-pillar pagoda. I had expected something different, as pagodas are often tall and multi-storeyed. See my next tip for further information.
The One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot) was built in 1955. The pillar is made of Concrete and the structure on top is made of wood. The previous building was burned in 1954 by the French when they withdrew from Vietnam.
Chua Mot Cot was constructed to celebrate the tale of the heirless Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who dreamt about receiving a son from the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion, seated on a lotus flower. He married shortly after and bore a son, and the pagoda was built to honour the event. It is the most interesting of the city’s numerous pagodas, and beneath the ornate curved roof people come to pray for fertility and wellbeing, with allegedly miraculous effects. The unique wooden structure was designed to resemble a lotus flower, the Buddhist representation of enlightenment, emerging out of the water, with the single stone pillar its symbolic stalk.
The one pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot) is one of the most famous and visited pagodas in Hanoi; this little pagoda, built under the rule of Ly Thai To in 1049, is indeed an interesting little building. The legend says that the emperor, desperate not having heirs, dreamt of the Goddess of Mercy handing a baby boy; soon later he married a young girl from the countryside; she gave birth to a son and as recognition he ordered to build this pagoda.
Originally, the pillar was a teak tree trunk, and was renovated in 1954 after its destruction by the French. The pillar is now concrete. This tiny pagoda where the worshippers come burn incense and pray the Goddess of Mercy is built in a small water basin, and access is via a small brick stair. It’s small size and the strange style gives a real charm to this pagoda.
Interesting is to walk in the little garden behind the pagoda, there are some Buddhist shrines and a bit further a Buddhist temple very richly ornated, with gold painted Buddha, painted statues, a temple full of colours, very quiet, where monks welcome the “lost” tourist..
The One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot) is a small and famous Pagoda of Vietnam located at a premises near to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh Museum. The original version built in the 11th century was blown up by the French troops in 1954. This wooden pagoda is newer and smaller version bult in the late 1950s. It is called one pillar pagoda because it stands on one single concrete pillar from a pond. This pagoda is meant to resemble a lotus, which is a symbol of purity in Buddhism. Admission is free and there are several souvenir shops near to this pagoda, which sell small and cute replica of this pagoda which is worth buying.
This pretty little pagoda dates from the 11th century. It rests on a single stone pillar that rises out of a lotus pond. It was built to honor Quan Am, the Goddess of Mercy by Emperor Ly Thai Tong, because she came to him in a dream in which she was sitting in the centre of a lotus flower presenting him with a son. Not long after, he married a new wife, who did indeed give him a son.
One Pillar Pagoda is a very tiny little Pagoda outside the Ho Chi Minh Museum.
It is a wooden Pagoda built on a single stone pillar in the middle of a very small pond.
No entrance fee and it is located just outside the HCM Museum.
Situated about a ten minute walk from Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum or the Ba Dinh Square visiting here offers one a chance to sit and relax in a park like setting on benches that line the perimeter of the man made lake where the pagoda sits.
Its unique design is of a three square meter wooden structure resembling a “lotus blossom”, the Buddhist symbol of Enlightenment. It sits on a concrete support (pillar) that replaces the original wooden one.
The original structure is thought to date from about 1049 during the Ly dynasty but the factual history is not clear. The pagoda has been damaged and restored many times. The last major demolition came at the hands of the French in 1954 and since then has been re-built into the version that you see today.
I sat and did some people watching here for a little while, and did not venture to look inside because of the flow of people making prayer.
There's a small stand where you can buy drinks and snacks to enjoy if you decide to sit and relax for a while.
Access to the pagoda is 0800 AM to 1700 PM daily and there is no charge to access the grounds where the pagoda is located
The one pillar pagoda, or Chua Mot Cot as it is called in vietnamese is a small pagoda that stands in a lotus dam just around the corner from the Ho Chi Migh mausoleum.
It was build way back in 1049 and was standing on it´s one pillar until 1954 where the french blew it up in anger over being thrown out of Vietnam as colonial masters, but they have now rebuild it and you can visit it again.
The godess inside the timple with the hundred arms is being visited by many young vietnamese couples who want to have children as it´s believed that she can help in this aspect.
The famous One Pillar Pagoda is built of wood on a single stone pillar. You can go up the Pagoda using the stairs and do a little prayer up there. It is surrounded by a pond with lotus flowers.
Facts about One Pillar Pagoda
*built by Emperor Ly Thai Tong in 1046, who ruled from 1028 to 1054.
* built of wood on a single stone pillar, 1.25m in diameter
* built to resemble a lotus blossom, symbol of purity
* the structure was destroyed by the French in 1954 and was rebuilt by the new government.
Legend of the One Pillar Pagoda
The heirless Emperor Ly dreamed that he met Goddess of Mercy, who seated on a lotus flower, handed him a male child. Emperor Ly then married a young peasant girl and had a heir by her. The structure was built to express his gratitude.
Within the vicinity of Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda attracts a steady stream of tourists and devotees alike. Unlike the grand mausoleum, the pagoda is petite and looks delicate - it stands on a single pillar in the center of a pond, resembling a lotus flower.
The interesting story behind the pagoda talks about an 11th century emperor, Ly Thai Tong, who build the pagoda is an act of thanksgiving to the goddess of mercy for giving him a wife, and more importantly a male heir.
The sad part of the story, is that of the pagoda itself. The one standing today is not the original pagoda built by the emperor - credit goes to the French colonialists who destroyed the original structure before they left the city. Sounds senseless.