Ly Quoc Su Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam

Every spring, people from Hanoi often visit Ly Quoc Su Pagoda to seek happiness and prosperity. Tourists come to the pagoda not only for worship but also to explore its cultural and historical values.

Ly Quoc Su Pagoda is located at 50 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

  • Best for: Family, couple, solo
  • Entrance Free Ticket: Free of Charge
  • Hours: 8:00 – 17:00

The pagoda venerates a monk from the Ly dynasty (10th – 12th centuries). This monk’s full name was Nguyen Chi Thanh, born in 1066 in Dien Xa Village, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province, during the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong.

In 1077, at the age of 11, Nguyen Chi Thanh began practicing Buddhism and was taught by Tu Dao Hanh, a renowned venerable monk. It is said that Tu Dao Hanh was highly knowledgeable in Buddhism and skilled in healing. He admired Nguyen Chi Thanh’s talents and virtues. In 1138, at the age of seventy, Venerable Nguyen Chi Thanh cured an illness of King Ly Than Tong that many famous doctors could not. Due to his virtue and talents, he was granted the title Ly Quoc Su, which means Great Teacher, the virtuous teacher of the nation.

The king provided Ly Quoc Su with a peaceful residential area next to Bao Thien Pagoda in the center of Thang Long Capital, near the Luc Thuy Lake (present-day Hoan Kiem Lake). The pagoda has a 12-story tower. Besides preaching Buddhist scriptures to monks, Ly Quoc Su also taught medicine, wrote prescriptions, and taught common people how to write. With a skill in bronze casting, Ly Quoc Su also trained many bronze casting artisans.

Therefore, when he passed away at the age of 75 in Giao Thuy Pagoda in Nam Dinh in 1141, King Ly Anh Tong (who ruled from 1138 to 1175) ordered the construction of a pagoda on the land where Ly Quoc Su had lived. Throughout the country, there are many pagodas dedicated to both Lord Buddha and Ly Quoc Su, considered the Saint of bronze casting, such as Giao Thuy Pagoda in Nam Dinh and Keo Pagoda in Thai Binh.

Ly Quoc Su Pagoda has been renovated and decorated multiple times, with the most significant renovation in 1954. Historical and cultural relics of this pagoda include statues of Ly Quoc Su, Lord Buddha, and the mother and child statues of Venerable Tu Dao Hanh and Venerable Giac Hai. Additionally, there is a precious Four-Faced Bell cast in the 19th century and a stone tablet inscribed by a scholar named Le Dinh Duyen in 1855. The name “Ly Quoc Su” is given to a 244-meter long street running from Hang Bong Street to Nha Tho Street.

Here are some travel tips for visiting Ly Quoc Su Pagoda:

– It’s best to explore Ly Quoc Su Pagoda on foot. There are a few spots for parking motorbikes around the area, so if you arrive by motorcycle or bicycle, it should not be an issue.

– Grab/Taxi pickup points may incur charges, so it’s advisable to wait for them in the surrounding areas since Ly Quoc Su Street can be quite crowded and congested.

– It’s recommended to visit this place in the early morning when there are fewer visitors, and the area is also bathed in warm sunlight.

– As it is a place of religious significance, visitors should dress modestly and respectfully. Please maintain silence and respect the solemn atmosphere.

Vietnam Discovery  provides a general overview, and you can adjust it based on your preferences and the time available. It’s always a good idea to check the weather and availability of attractions before your trip.