Kim Lien Pagoda Hanoi Vietnam
Kim Lien Pagoda has the real Vietnamese name called Đại Bi Tự, which is situated in Quang An Village, Tay Ho District, Hanoi. Built on the Nghi Tam Peninsula on the bank of West Lake, Kim Lien Pagoda was originally belonged to the area of the former Tu Hoa Palace of the Ly Dynasty.
According to history fact, the Ly Than Tong King had a daughter called Princess Tu Hoa. He commanded to build a place which was named his own daughter, Tu Hoa and let Tu Hoa and her imperial maids stay in this palace in order to give her a lesson of understanding and respecting their social positions.
Kim Lien was designed with the combination of three pavilions, each of which has 2 roof layers. These pavilions were also built in the slight curved shapes. In addition of its nice disposition, the gate of Kim Lien Pagoda is also a symbol of the sophisticated and elegant architecture.
Among the temples and pagodas in Hanoi, Kim Lien Pagoda is considered one of the magnificent pagoda retaining intact the ancient architecture. Previously, the pagoda was located in Nghi Tam village, currently under Quang An ward, Tay Ho district, Hanoi and was recognized as National Historical and Cultural Monument in 1962. The Pagoda was also formerly known as Dai Bi, Dong Long or Tu Hoa Pagoda. Since 1771, Lord Trinh Sam ordered to renovate the pagoda and change its name into Kim Lien Pagoda. Kim Lien Pagoda worships both Buddhist and Princess Tu Hoa (King Ly Than Tong’s daughter). It was carved with Chinese character “Hoàng Ân tự” and constructed on former foundation of ancient Tu Hoa Palace.
Over years, the pagoda has been renovated for several times, especially the major renovations in 1445, 1631, 1639, 1771, 1792 which were all carved on steles. In 1983, the pagoda was renovated in large-scale but still retains architectural features of Tay Son times (the 18th century). Three-entrance gate of Kim Lien Pagoda is a unique architectural building with 2 storeys and 8 roof-layers looking like a lotus on the West Lake. The pagoda has three pavilions. The back temple (Chùa Hạ) is a house consisting of five compartments, six column rows, two storeys and eight roof layers. Its roof bank is decorated with dragon pattern. Two gable walls were opened with round windows. The frame was carved with images of lotus, leave, cloud, dragon in Le Trung Hung times’ style. The central temple (Chùa Trung) is a house of one compartment and two lean-tos, narrower but higher than Backward temple. This two storey and eight roof-layer temple links with the back temple by a common drain pipe. Its decorative style is similar with the backward temple. The front temple has the same dimension and decorative style and is connected with the middle temple through a common pipe line. Behind the front temple lies a five compartment ancestor worshipping house with simpler decorative than normal pagoda. All of the three pagodas are constructed with platforms on which places Buddhist statues. Besides Buddhist statue, inner pagoda also locates statues of Princess Tu Hoa, Lord Trinh Gian, the Holy Mother and Heaven Ruler, Earth God and Pluto.
Worshiping items such as incense burner, ornamental jar, bell, lacquered painting, wooden panel pairs… are all ancient and artificially valuable. Among Buddhist statues, the Guan Yin statue and the Buddha Amitabha statue sitting on three-layer lotus, which features artificial style of the 18th century, are the most magnificent statues of the pagoda.