One pillar pagoda was built by Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who ruled from 1028 to 1054. According to the court records, Ly Thai Tong was childless and dream that he met the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who handed him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower. Ly Thai Tong then married a peasant girl that he had met and she bore him a son.
The One Pillar Pagoda or as in Vietnamese called Chùa Một Cột, which literally means “long lasting happiness and good luck”) is a historic Buddhist temple and one of the must see Hanoi tourist attractions located next to the Ho Chi Minh Museum. As you visit Hanoi, you may come to various other monuments, parks and historical places. Yet, the One Pillar Pagoda reflects the architectural splendor that the country has grown in the history.
According to legend, the Emperor Ly Thai Tong , used to go to One Pillar Pagoda to pray to Buddha for a son. One night in his dream that he was granted a private audience to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who was seated on a great lotus flower in a square-shaped lotus pond on the western side of Thang Long Citadel, gave the King a baby boy. Months later, when the Queen gave birth to a son, the Emperor ordered the construction of a pagoda supported by only one pillar to resemble the lotus seat of his dream in the honor of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
What you see today of the One pillar Pagoda is a new form recovered in 1955 when it was refurbished with a concrete pillar from its remnants by the Vietnamese government. Locals believe that if you pray in One pillar pagoda it will invoke well-beings and prosperity.
Opening hours: 08:00 to 17:00
Entrance fee: Free of charge
Address: Ba Dinh Square, next to the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh