For more than 3 centuries, Ha Tien has been known as the land of Dia Linh Nhan Kiet (Spirit land, good people), a poetic frontier realm. With natural scenery, the legends of temples and mausoleums in this land are all tangible and intangible cultures bearing cultural identity and historical values of the southern region. Phu Dung Pagoda, also known as Phu Dung Ancient Pagoda, is also a unique cultural heritage associated with the love story of Ha Tien City – Tong Tran Mac Thien Tich (Tong Tran is an official controlling a large area) and Lady Nguyen Thi Xuan (Nickname: Phu Dung).
History of Phu Dung Pagoda
This place was built by Tong Tran Ha Tien Mac Thien Tich in 1750 to serve as a place of spiritual practice for a concubine. This pagoda is associated with the legend of the person lying in the tomb, that is Lady Phu Dung.
In 1771, the pagoda was much damaged due to war, until 1846, Venerable Thich Buu Chau from China came to Ha Tien to practice at the temple to repair. In 1910, Venerable Thich Hoang Dao rebuilt the temple and renamed it Phu Dung pagoda. In 1975, Venerable Thich Nhat Quang returned as the abbot so far, he restored it to become a famous beautiful landscape of Ha Tien. Especially on the side of the temple, there is a small road along the mountainside, about 20m away, visitors will meet an ancient tomb.
At present, the ancient Phu Dung pagoda is always the destination chosen by tourists in every Phu Quoc trip to see the pagoda and hear about legends from ancient times. Therefore, this place becomes a famous tourist destination of the sacred land of Ha Tien.
Legend of Lady Phu Dung
Phu Dung Pagoda has a pitiful love story … Legend has it that: Tong Tran Mac Thien Tich had a second wife named Xuan. She was very beautiful and good at literature. Tong Tran loved and pampered her very much. That made the main wife jealous, harming the second wife.
One day, Tong Tran was away, at home, the main wife confined the second wife in an upside-down pot to suffocate. But just that time, it suddenly poured heavy rain. Tong Tran just arrived home and saw that it was raining, but there was a large pot that was upside down. Tong Tran commanded to open the pot, saw that the second wife was about to lose her breath, but fortunately, she could still be saved in time.
The second wife escaped death, became bored, asked Tong Tran to let her become a monk. Facing that situation, Tong Tran did not know what else to do and then built a pagoda for the second wife to practice the spirit. Tong Tran ordered to dig a pond and plant white lotus flowers to commemorate a beautiful old love. When Lady Xuan died, Tong Tran ordered to construct a solid and spacious tomb to show his love for a beautiful woman who suffered because of him.
Structure of Phu Dung Pagoda
Phu Dung Pagoda was built in the 18th century, located at the foot of Binh Sang mountain, in Binh Sang ward, Ha Tien town, Kien Giang province. Currently, the pagoda has been recognized as a national-level historical and cultural relic.
The main hall of Phu Dung pagoda consists of 3 simple compartments. The main hall was built as a 3-room ancient house, the interior was simple, the area was not too large, there was only a Buddhist altar in the middle of the main hall. Four reliefs on the wall, each 1.3m high, 2.3m wide describing the life of Buddha Shakyamuni have contributed to creating a solemn cultural and religious space. Behind the main hall is the 2-storey tower “Ngoc Hoang Buu Dien” worshiping Ngoc Hoang (Jade Emperor) and the two Nam Tao and Bac Dau, made of bamboo reinforced with fragrant paper and painted with gold paint. Phu Dung Pagoda is one of the famous ancient places of Ha Tien, adorn the borderland with majestic and serene beauty. A temple captivates visitors by the love story of Tong Tran Ha Tien and Phu Dung Lady.