Photo: Hanoi's revered One Pillar Pagoda.

One Pillar Pagoda

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Located in Ba Dinh Square right by the Ho Chi Minh Museum, the One Pillar Pagoda is one of the most recognisable symbols of Hanoi.

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Having said that, it's not much to actually see in person. It's a modest, wooden sanctuary set on, naturally, one concrete pillar, over a pond that blooms with lotus blossoms during summer. The shrine is dedicated to Quan Am, the Goddess of Mercy, and is designed to look like a lotus, a symbol of enlightenment in Buddhism.

The One Pillar Pagoda looking somewhat gloomy on a February day. Photo taken in or around One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

The One Pillar Pagoda looking somewhat gloomy on a February day. Photo: Samantha Brown

The pagoda is said to have originally been built in 1049 by Emperor Ly Thai Tong (who preceded Ly Thanh Tong, who was responsible for founding the Temple of Literature in 1070). Legend holds that the emperor, lacking male heirs, had a dream that he was handed a son by Quan Am, who was seated on a lotus flower when she appeared to him. Soon afterwards, the emperor found a wife and had a son. The emperor then built the pagoda to honour ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 200 words.)

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