Tu Hieu Pagoda – Exploring the ancient beauty in the land of Hue

Tu Hieu Pagoda is a well-known spiritual and ancient tourist attractions in the ancient capital of Hue. Every day, a large number of people visit this place for sightseeing and worship. If you have the opportunity to travel to Hue, take some time to visit this destination and explore its unique architecture!

Tu Hieu Pagoda Hue – Where is it located?

  • Address: Duong Xuan Thuong III village, Thuy Xuan, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue

Tu Hieu Pagoda is situated in Duong Xuan village, hidden behind a large pine forest. This area is considered the land of temples in Hue.

The distance from the pagoda to the city center of Hue is only about 5km. Therefore, visitors can easily travel by motorcycle or private car. To reach the pagoda, simply ride along Dien Bien Phu Street and then turn onto Le Ngo Cat Street. After a short distance, you will see a large sign indicating the way to the pagoda.

As Tu Hieu Pagoda is a well-known spiritual destination, if you happen to get lost, feel free to ask the local residents for directions!

Explore the History & Legend of Tu Hieu Pagoda in Hue

When it comes to the history of Tu Hieu Pagoda in Hue, it can be said that this is one of the oldest and most ancient temples in the ancient capital. In 1843, Monk Nhat Dinh came to Hue to establish “Thao Am An Duong” to continue the path of meditation and take care of his elderly mother. By 1848, Monk Cuong Ky expanded the scale of the pagoda, and in the following years, the pagoda underwent renovations and adjustments to achieve its present perfection.

According to the documentary materials, Tu Hieu Pagoda was built in the 19th century

The legend of Tu Hieu Pagoda in Hue is closely tied to stories filled with compassion and life’s sentiments. Monk Nhat Dinh, the founder of the temple, ignored the ridicule and objections of people to buy fish and meat for nourishing his weak and ailing mother, while he himself remained devoted to Buddhism, maintaining a pure vegetarian diet.

This act of filial piety deeply moved King Tu Duc. Since then, the pagoda has been named Tu Hieu. Moreover, it became a place for court officials to enjoy their old age and handle ancestral worship affairs in the future.

Explaining the Implicit Meaning in the Name of Tu Hieu Pagoda

If you have traveled on a tour in Hue, you will undoubtedly receive a lot of information from guides about the significance of the pagoda’s name. Indeed, behind the name Tu Hieu, there are many profound meanings.

  • Tu: Represents the great compassion of the Buddha. Without compassion, how can one progress in rescuing all sentient beings?
  • Hieu: Represents filial piety towards the Buddha. Without filial piety, how can one attain enlightenment that covers the entire land and sky?

With the touching story of caring for an elderly mother, Tu Hieu Pagoda has long become a symbol of the Zen tradition regarding filial piety over the years. The pagoda has also become an emblem of children’s filial gratitude towards their parents.

Every Vu Lan (Wandering Souls) festival, worshippers come to the pagoda to make offerings and pin roses on their clothes to express their filial piety. Few may know that this is also the pagoda where Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh served as the abbot. He is known for establishing the tradition of pinning roses during ceremonies.

How to get to Tu Hieu Pagoda

As it is only about 5km from the center of Hue city, visitors can easily travel to Tu Hieu Pagoda by motorbike, personal car, or taxi. Follow the entire Dien Bien Phu Street, then turn onto Le Ngo Cat Street. After a short distance, you will see signs guiding you to the pagoda. This is a very well-known location on the tourist map of Hue, so if you get lost, you can ask any local resident for directions.

The pagoda is only 5km away from the city center, making it very easy to travel to

Additionally, if you want to move quickly and explore more places, consider booking the car rental service with a driver in Hue from VnCarRentals.com. The private car rental service will save you time, provide door-to-door service, and the professional driver team with many years of experience will ensure your journey is safe and comfortable.

Exploring Tu Hieu Pagoda – What to Expect?

It’s not by chance that Tu Hieu Pagoda in Hue captivates the hearts of many visitors. The solemn and tranquil ambiance of the pagoda seems to embrace those who come to uncover the hidden stories behind its venerable appearance.

Experience the Meditative Space and Gentle Nature

One remarkable feature of the Hue pagoda that will leave a lasting impression on tourists is its integration with nature. The pagoda peacefully nestles within the pine forest, adopting the architectural style of traditional Hue houses. While the overall structure exhibits unity, each position carries its distinctive marks.

Every small corner here helps you relive a glorious past of Hue

If you’re on a one-day trip to Hue and seek a place to soothe your soul, Tu Hieu Pagoda is an excellent choice. The pagoda has a spacious fish pond, a fragrant lotus pond, and moss-covered Three-Gate entrance, exuding a nostalgic grandeur. Listening to the gentle flow of water, the rustling of leaves, and the chanting of the monks, your inner troubles are sure to find some solace.

Visit the Resting Place of 24 Court Mandarins

Tu Hieu Pagoda is also the final resting place for the elderly and the ancestral altar of the 24 court mandarins of the Nguyen Dynasty. The graveyard of those who devoted their lives to serving in the imperial court remains here, making it a unique aspect of Tu Hieu Pagoda.

The resting place of the royal mandarins of the Nguyen dynasty

Covering an area of about 1000m2, the graveyard is well-protected by a sturdy wall. The tombs are arranged in three rows according to the hierarchy of the former court officials. In the center of the graveyard, there is also a stele inscribed with their contributions to the dynasty.

Hear the Story of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

Tu Hieu Pagoda is a repository of stories deeply intertwined with both Buddhism and life. It marks the beginning of the meditation journey of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the place where he spent his final years. The Zen master is a highly influential Buddhist leader both nationally and internationally, making continuous contributions in various fields.

The days when Zen Master Thich Vạn Hạnh practiced in solitude during the final years of his life at Tu Hieu Pagoda

It’s a lesson in returning to one’s roots, and we absorb this wisdom when visiting Tu Hieu Pagoda. The pagoda is where the Zen master lived peacefully during his early years, fostering dreams, willpower, and the desire to alleviate suffering and help others. Later in life, he returned to the pagoda, spending his remaining time at the “Listening to the Heart” residence with fellow monks and disciples.

Tourist Attractions near Tu Hieu Pagoda in Hue

In proximity to Tu Hieu Pagoda, there are several renowned landmarks that you can explore to enhance your experience in the ancient capital. Some notable attractions near Tu Hieu Pagoda include:

Tomb of Dong Khanh – 1.6km Away

This royal tomb, located just 1.6 kilometers from Tu Hieu Pagoda, is a poignant testament to the history of the Nguyen Dynasty. The elaborate architecture and intricate details of Dong Khanh’s final resting place offer a glimpse into the imperial past.

Vong Canh Hill – 2.7km Away

For breathtaking panoramic views of the Perfume River and the surrounding countryside, Vong Canh Hill is the perfect vantage point. A short distance from Tu Hieu Pagoda, this hill provides a tranquil retreat and an opportunity to soak in the natural beauty of Hue.

Tu Dam Pagoda – 3.1km Away

Another gem in the vicinity is Tu Dam Pagoda, just 3.1 kilometers from Tu Hieu. Known for its unique architecture and spiritual ambiance, Tu Dam Pagoda invites visitors to explore its serene grounds and discover the Buddhist teachings it holds.

The image of the ancient banyan tree at Tu Dam Pagoda as seen from above.

Phu Cam Church – 3.3km Away

A bit further away, at a distance of 3.3 kilometers, lies Phu Cam Church. This iconic Catholic church, with its distinct pink facade, is a testament to the diverse religious heritage of Hue. The church’s architecture and historical significance make it a noteworthy stop.

Phu Cam Church is a prominent highlight amid the traditional Vietnamese architectural structures of the Imperial City and pagodas

Notes when visiting Tu Hieu Pagoda

  • Dress Modestly: When visiting Tu Hieu Pagoda, it’s important to dress modestly and respectfully. Wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect for the religious site.
  • Remove Shoes Before Entering: As is customary in many Buddhist temples, you will be required to remove your shoes before entering the pagoda buildings. Be prepared for this and wear easily removable footwear.
  • Maintain Silence and Respect: The pagoda is a place of worship and meditation. While exploring the grounds, maintain a quiet and respectful demeanor. Avoid loud conversations and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Observe Rituals: If there are ongoing rituals or ceremonies, observe quietly from a respectful distance. Do not disrupt the practices of worshippers.
  • Follow Photography Rules: Some areas of the pagoda may have restrictions on photography. Pay attention to any signs or guidelines regarding photography and avoid taking pictures where it is not permitted.
  • Proper Behavior in Worship Spaces: If you enter the worship spaces, be mindful of your behavior. Avoid touching religious artifacts or disturbing offerings.
  • Be Mindful of Cultural Sensitivities: Respect the cultural sensitivities of the local people. Ask for permission before taking pictures of individuals, and be aware of and adhere to any specific customs or rules within the pagoda.
  • Contribute to the Maintenance: Consider making a small donation for the maintenance of the pagoda. Many religious sites rely on the generosity of visitors to cover upkeep costs.
  • Learn about the History: Take the time to learn about the history and significance of Tu Hieu Pagoda. Understanding the cultural and historical context enhances the overall experience of your visit.
  • Dispose of Trash Properly: Keep the premises clean by disposing of any trash in designated areas. Respect the environment and the efforts made to maintain the pagoda’s cleanliness.

Above is a general overview of Tu Hieu Pagoda – a renowned tourist spot in Hue. The ancient and contemplative beauty of Tu Hieu serves as a tranquil haven for troubled souls and for those seeking to contemplate the teachings of life and Buddhism. The pagoda always opens its doors to welcome all guests, inviting them to immerse themselves in the simple yet profound scenery surrounding the Gate of Buddha.

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