On our way back to the car after visiting Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum we stopped by the One Pillar Pagoda. It is one of the oldest and most iconic temples in Vietnam. It is about 970 years old and was built by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong. According to the court records, Lý Thái Tông was childless and dreamt that he met the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who handed him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower. Lý Thái Tông then married a peasant girl that he had met and she bore him a son. The emperor constructed the temple in gratitude for this in 1049,having been told by a monk named Thiền Tuệ to build the temple, by erecting a pillar in the middle of a lotus pond, similar to the one he saw in the dream.
It is located within the Presidential Palace grounds. It was destroyed during the war and then rebuilt. I love the adorned altars and offerings the Buddhists give at the temple. The carved wooden doors are stunning. The golden intricate altars, bright red lanterns and detail are so beautiful.