Chua Dien Huu Pagoda is located in Hanoi near to the Ho Chi Mausoleum and Presidential Palace. The famous One Pillar Pagoda is part of the same temple complex, although with a separate entrance.
Entrance to Chua Dien Huu Pagoda
Chua Dien Huu Pagoda is open every day from 09:00 to 16:00 and entrance is free.
About Chua Dien Huu Pagoda
Chua Dien Huu Pagoda was built in 1049 at the same time as the One Pillar Pagoda. Chua Dien Huu Pagoda itself is a small temple consisting of a courtyard and a single building which hold several shrines.
Quan Am statue at Chua Dien Huu Pagoda
In the centre of the courtyard at Chua Dien Huu Pagoda is a statue of Quan Am, whose image in represented in many religious sites in Vietnam. Quan Am is a bodhisattva, which is something akin to a saint in the Buddhist religion, who is associated with the virtue of compassion, and is revered as what in Western terms we would describe as the ‘Goddess of Compassion’.
Avalokiteśvara Shrine at Chua Dien Huu Pagoda
The main shrine in Chua Dien Huu Pagoda is dedicated to another bodhisattva, Avalokiteśvara. In this temple the Avalokiteśvara image has 8 arms like the Hindu god Durga. According to the legend the Emperor Lý Thái Tông saw Avalokiteśvara in a dream giving him a baby son whilst sitting on a lotus flower. This inspired the Emperor Lý Thái Tông, so the legend goes, to build the temple with a lotus pond and the One Pillar Pagoda. From a theological perspective Avalokiteśvara is a curious character who origins lay in Hindu belief but who became part of Buddhist beliefs from some point between the 5th and 9th Centuries and now is mow widely worshipped by Buddhists across Asia.
Guan Yu and Confucius shrines at Chua Dien Huu Pagoda
Chua Dien Huu Pagoda also has shrines to Confucius and Guan Yu, the Taoist God of War, indicating the Chinese influence on the royal court in Vietnam. These two shrines may well have been added some time after the original temple was built as the whole temple complex has been renovated numerous times through the centuries and the iconography at this temple is likely to have changed over time as it has as other temples in Vietnam, and generally across South East Asia, as the prevailing belief systems have changed over time.