The Huong Pagoda, which translates as Perfume Pagoda, is a huge compound of Buddhist shrines and temples in Hanoi which have been created within the limestone mountains of the area. The complex is located in an immense grotto within a tranquil national park in which there are fragrant flowers; this is the origin of its name. This serene shrine compound attracts crowds of devotees from all over Vietnam in the festival season and has also achieved the status of a significant visitor attraction luring a steady stream of sightseers.
The visitor will see a number of interesting pagodas within the complex, many of which are worth exploring. Often the first edifice that you will see will be the Presentation Shrine or Den Trinh. Constructed in honour of a former general, this expansive building features a gateway flanked by two statues of kneeling elephants. Within the pagoda you will see a vast ceremonial chamber.
One of the highlights of the compound is the Outer Pagoda, or Chua Ngoai. Here you will see a brick tomb where Zen monk Vien Quang, the person responsible for the refurbishment of the compound, lies buried. This pagoda also contains a devotional hallway as well as a bell tower. Inside you will see an image of Bodhisatva Quan Am.
However there is no doubt that the focal point of the compound is the Inner Temple which is located within a cave. The opening of the cave resembles the open mouth of a dragon and the visitor will notice Chinese calligraphic characters carved on to a wall nearby. These inscriptions are attributed to a local ruler of the 18th century.
Within the cave you will see numerous statues, including a massive Buddha image in addition to a statue of Quan Am. Both of these statues are formed of a green hued stone material. There are also figures of Buddhist Arhats as well as other venerated individuals. With so much to see and admire a visit to Huong Pagoda is sure to be a captivating and informative experience.
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Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+