Hanoi is never a boring destination. It has excellent foods, amazing spots for aspiring photographers, and various temples and pagodas for the cultural enthusiasts. Join us as we venture to the West Lake area to explore one of the most famous temples in town, Phu Tay Ho in Hanoi.
The main temple of Phu Tay Ho in Hanoi
Phu Tay Ho is located on the peninsula of Nghi Tam village, protruding out the West Lake and is about 4 kilometers to the west of the city center. The location is of a tranquil atmosphere and scenic landscape.
Google Map location: Phu Tay Ho in Hanoi
Opening hours: 5 AM - 6 PM (on the 1st and 15th day of the Lunar month: 5 AM - 9 PM)
Opening hours of Phu Tay Ho
Outdoor altars at Phu Tay Ho in Hanoi
Phu Tay Ho worships Princess Lieu Hanh, one of the "immortal quartet" of Vietnam (Son Tinh, Thanh Giong, Chu Dong Tu, Lieu Hanh). Legend has it that she was the second daughter of the Jade Emperor, banished from heaven for breaking a precious jewel glass. In the mortal world, she lived at the holy peninsula of West Lake and helped the poor to settle, eliminated devils, and punish twisted mandarins, earning her the name "Mau Nghi Thien Ha" (Mother of The Whole World).
Phu Tay Ho in Hanoi overlooks the West Lake
According to the legend, Phung Khac Hoan, a first doctoral candidate under the Le Dynasty, was cruising along West Lake when he was charmed by the scenery and decided to stop. He met Princess Lieu Hanh, together they made the famous poem of "West Lake senses." Upon his return to the place, he could no longer find the Princess. He founded Phu Tay Ho, where they met to remember her by.
Phu Tay Ho is considered a standing representation of the Hanoian culture and history. This lakeside temple boasts an extensive collection of antique relics, characterized by the nineteenth-century art. Notable artifacts are the 300 round statues, diaphragms, and poetic sentences. Phu Tay Ho in Hanoi also features great calligraphy art, such as the writing of "Thien Tien Trac Giang" (Descending Goddess) and a horizontal picture named "Mau Nghi Thien Ha" (Mother of The Whole World).
Dragons are a symbolic pattern of Vietnamese architecture
Phu Tay Ho also holds three goddess statues placed parallelly: "Mau Thuong Ngan" (Mother of Mountains) in forest green; "Mau Thoai" (Mother of Water) in white for the rivers; "Mau Dia" (Mother of Earth) wearing gold for the earth. These three goddesses represent the evolution of Vietnamese dwellers, moving from the forests to the rivers and streams to lowland paddy fields.
The altar for worshipping
Phu Tay Ho in Hanoi during the spring festival
Spring festivals are held annually to honor Princess Lieu Hanh. During this occasion, Phu Tay Ho is packed with people praying for fortune and also ẹnoying the scenic beauty of West Lake. Phu Tay Ho has been classified as a Historical and Cultural Relic on February 13th, 1996.
Phu Tay Ho in Hanoi has always stood as the symbol of the city's thousand-year-old culture. If you ever find yourself wandering near the West Lake area, visit it, we promise that it's worthwhile. For more Vietnam travel information, feel free to contact us.
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© Written by Dung Tran for itourvn.com