Hon Chen Temple is located on Ngoc Tran Mountain, belonging to Ngoc Ho Village, Huong Ho Ward, Huong Tra Town, Thua Thien – Hue Province (Nine kilometers away from Hue Ancient Citadel by road). Hon Chen Temple is well-known not only because it is a religious monument but also because it is an architectural monument. That architecture has been embedded in the charming landscape by the ancients.
There is a mountain range from Truong Son mountain range foot to the plain of Hue, blocked by a section of the left bank of the Huong River, forming a seemingly isolated mountain, trees growing green, standing on the edge of the abyss, the deepest part of the Perfume River. The ancient people chose that Ngoc Tran Mountain to build a temple.
On the top of the mountain, there is a sunken land, a few meters in diameter, surrounded by a rock ring like a well, and when it rains, the water remains like a clear water bowl. So from ancient times, the mountain was named Ngoc Tran (Mount Precious Stone Bowl) and folk called Hon Chen.
About 10 temple buildings are located halfway up the southeast side of the mountain, hiding under the shadow of an old forest with luxuriant foliage. The step systems run from the high temple to the blue water wharf. The mirror-like river surface is used for the green trees and the buildings looking at.
Hon Chen Temple was built before 1555. It was restored twice in 1832 and 1834 under Minh Mang time, then expanded in 1886 under Dong Khanh time. The temple worships Po Nagar Goddess of Champ people (Kinh people also considers this goddess as their goddess and call as Thien Y A Na.). Many precious worshiping objects in the main temple are made during the reign of King Dong Khanh, looking very strange. What may be surprisingly interesting to visitors is the sculpted and glorified tiger on the temple yard.
Hon Chen Temple is not only a historical and religious relic but also a scenic spot, a unique cultural attraction that attracts many visitors, especially on the annual festival of March and July of the lunar calendar. If you want to visit Hon Chen temple, you join Hue city tour by boat or take a ferry across Perfume River.
Read more about A complete Hue travel guide