One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi



  • Location: Ong Ich Khiem St | Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
  • Recommended reason: the most distinctive historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi
  • Opening time: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm every day
  • Entrance fee: free


One Pillar Pagoda

The One Pillar Pagoda, also known as Chua Mot Cot or Lien Hoa Dai, is the most distinctive historic Buddhist temple located in the southwest of Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It is regarded alongside the Perfume Temple, as one of Vietnam's two most iconic temples.


Structure of One Pillar Pagoda

The One Pillar Pagoda was built on a 1.25-meter-diameter stone pillar in the pond and named after it. The pool is square and surrounded by brick railings. The pagoda is 4 meters above ground and connected to the land by a stone bridge. The temple body and the four sides of the roof are slightly curled up to form the petals that looks like a blooming lotus flower raising straight up from the lake. The pagoda itself is built of high-grade wood and the details are very elaboration, a symbol of holiness in Buddhism. The pagoda enshrines the Goddess of Mercy, which is said to be quite effective, so the incense is very strong.


Legend of One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar Pagoda

The pagoda was built in 1049, under the reign of Ly Thai Tong. According to legend, emperor Ly Thai Tong (1028-1054) is old but has no son. One night, he dreamed of the Goddess of Mercy who seated on the lotus flower platform in a pool of water and handed a baby son to him. Soon after, Ly Thai Tong married a young and beautiful woman who later gave birth to a boy for Ly Thai Tong. It was exactly the same as the boy in the dream, so Ly Thai Tong ordered the building of a pagoda modeled after the blooming lotus flower to serve the Goddess of Mercy for generations.


History of One Pillar Pagoda

At the end of the first Indochina war in 1954, when the French team was withdrawn, the One Pillar Pagoda was blown up, leaving only a stone pillar. It was rebuilt on the original site in 1955, and the overall style is the same as the original temple. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, there was a replica of the One Pillar Pagoda in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), which was one of the places where people served the Goddess of Mercy. Due to several renovations, the existing temple is smaller than the original one, but its artistic style is still preserved.


Value of One Pillar Pagoda 

One Pillar Pagoda

Although it is a replica, the One Pillar is today considered one of the most representative Buddhist temples in Vietnam. From the yard to the pagoda floor, tourists walk through 13 sidesteps stone stairs and will find a sparkling gold statue of Goddess of Mercy sits on a lacquer dipped gold trim red wooden lotus in the highest position inside the pagoda. Today, there’re many couple come here and pray for marriage and fertility. Remember to wear full-length clothes when you visit any pagoda in Vietnam.


A column pagoda stretches for thousands of years, and has experienced the vicissitudes of life, always retaining the ancient spirit. With only one pillar, the pagoda can stand the test of time. This fragile little pagoda preserves enormous cultural and historical value. Its image is always the majesty of the national spirit, the symbolic image of the capital, standing firmly in the endless hours of time. A column tower is a symbol of Hanoi and contributes to the promotion of tourism in Hanoi to international friends.


Travel Tips of One Pillar Pagoda

Visitors who have the opportunity to participate in Hanoi tourism will surely marvel at the unique architecture of the pagoda. The pagoda is open all week during the summer but closed on Mondays and Fridays in the winter.


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