Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Few Moments Of Devotion At Chùa Một Cột...


The Ba Đình area is indeed quite interesting - within a small area, there is a lot packed in as we realised after visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Văn Phòng Chủ Tịch Nước. And after the presidential palace, we headed towards the Chùa Một Cột or the One Pillar Pagoda...


Passing by the Ho Chi Minh Museum...


The hammer, the sickle and the star... symbols of communism!


The Chùa Một Cộtwas built by Emperor Lý Thái Tông, in the 11th century. And legends say that the emperor was childless and dreamt that he met the Avalokiteshvara, who handed him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower. 
After that the emperor married a peasant girl that he had met and they had a son. The emperor constructed the temple in gratitude for this in 1049, as advised by a monk named Thiền Tuệ - by erecting a pillar in the middle of a lotus pond, similar to the one he saw in the dream.


Mickey Mouse balloons here - that's quite amusing...


The temple is built of wood on a single stone pillar 1.25 metres in diameter, and it is designed to resemble a lotus blossom, which is a Buddhist symbol of purity, since a lotus blossoms in a muddy pond...


 In 1954, the French forces destroyed the pagoda before withdrawing from Vietnam after the First Indochina War, It was rebuilt afterwards. Shouldn't that be called barbarism?







Buddhist flags along the perimeter...


A Visit To Văn Phòng Chủ Tịch Nước...




Passing by the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, we headed to Văn Phòng Chủ Tịch Nước, the presidential palace...


The ceremonial guard looks at the passers by...


An enchanting bamboo grove at the entrance to the palace...


Strict do's and don'ts...



The first glimpse of the palace...

The palace was built between 1900 and 1906 to house the French Governor-General of Indochina. It was constructed by Auguste Henri Vildieu, the official French architect for French Indochina. The architecture of the palace is distinctly French colonial amidst a mango trees grove.


The emblem of Vietnam adorns the facade...


When Vietnam achieved independence in 1954, Ho Chi Minh was claimed to have refused to live in the grand structure for symbolic reasons, although he still received state guests here,..


Access to the palace wasn't permitted, but we were free to roam around in the grounds...


But the yellow of the palace stood out everywhere...




A clearer view...




The main gate...



Uncle Ho's garage...




He used to drive around in these cars...





The carp pond that Uncle Ho constructed...






 The traditional and austere Vietnamese stilt house that Uncle Ho used as his residence, leaving the Presidential Palace for official ceremonies...







The bridge over the carp pond...


Rear of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum...

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