Thien Mu Pagoda, also known as Linh Mu Pagoda, is an ancient pagoda located in Ha Khe Hill, on the left bank of the Huong River, about 5 km west of the center of Hue City (Vietnam). Every year it has attracted millions of tourists both inside and outside country coming to visit.
Thien Mu Pagoda was officially established by Lord Nguyen Hoang – the first Lord of 9 Nguyen Lords in 1601. Legend says that when Lord Nguyen Hoang came to Thuan Hoa and Quang Nam, he personally looked for the land to open the career of Nguyen Dynasty àterward. He rode the horse along the Perfume River toward the source. He encountered a small hill (this hill named as Ha Khe Hill) rising up beside the blue water stream meandering. The land shape looked like a dragon looking back. At the same time, local people said that at night, there is an old lady in red dress appearing on the hill, telling people: “Then there will be a Lord to set up the pagoda to make the country prosperous”. Therefore, Lord Nguyen Hoang built a pagoda and named Thien Mu. Thien Mu means Fairy Lady in heaven.
The area of the pagoda is located on a rectangular hill running North-South and faces Huong Rive. The area is surrounded by a wall made of stone. It has the shape like a turtle drinking water. Passing the gate, going up over 10 steps, we see Phuoc Duyen Tower. Phuoc Duyen Tower has octal cube shape with the height of 21m divided into 7 floors, each floor 3m. In the tower, there is a bending ladder system built from low to high. Beside Phuoc Duyen Tower is the mean temple (Vietnamese: Chánh Điện) that is a monumental, magnificent architecture. Inside the temple, there are statues of Buddha and one large bell made from bronze cast hundreds of years ago. Besides, there are wooden boards painted with red color and covered with gold. The sound of the bell makes people’s hearts passionate.
The campus of the pagoda is a flower garden, where there is a Hon Non Bo (Hon Non Bo is the Vietnamese art of making miniature landscapes, imitating the scenery of the islands, mountains and surrounding environment as found in nature). Beside Hon Non Bo is the place to put monk Thich Quang Duc’s car that has remained after he had killed himself with fire in 163 to oppose the Ngo Dinh Diem regime. At the end of the garden is the tomb tower of Monk Thich Don Hau, a famous leader of Thien Mu Pagoda, who devoted his life for charitable activities.
The pure blue water stream of the Huong River bending in front of the pagoda is as to wash away the dust of the mind of those who seek the door of the Buddha. The sound of the bell is as the soul of Hue. All remain in the heart of each tourist when leaving Hue. These miraculous experiences can only have when tourists reach at Thien Mu Pagoda, the place is not only the pride of Hue but also the one of Vietnamese country.