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Tu Hieu pagoda Hue: Home to the tombs of eunuchs under the Nguyen Dynasty

02/01/2024 29.912

One of the renowned Buddhist pagodas boasting over 160 years of history in Vietnam is Tu Hieu pagoda. In addition to its spiritual value, this is also a must-visit tourist attraction.

Tu Hieu pagoda

One of the ancient Vietnamese pagodas, Tu Hieu pagoda, is a must-see for all visitors to Thua Thien Hue province. Visitors can take part in ceremonies such as chanting sutras or offering incense for peace and good luck. With its beautiful landscapes and ancient architecture, this pagoda in Hue gives locals and tourists an insight into the country's fascinating culture.

1. Where is Tu Hieu pagoda?

Located just a few kilometers outside of the city center, Tu Hieu pagoda is a beautiful and historical Buddhist pagoda that is highly revered by locals and visitors alike.

1.1. Location of Tu Hieu pagoda Hue

  • Location: Duong Xuan Thuong III village, Thuy Xuan ward, Thua Thien Hue province.
  • Opening hours: 5:30 am - 8:00 pm every day

Tu Hieu pagoda, located in Duong Xuan village, is a historical and cultural relic of Hue. One of the oldest and largest pagodas built in the Nguyen Dynasty, it features unique architecture and radiates poetic charm.

Additionally, it is also where Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh resides, whose teachings on mindfulness, global ethics, and peace are known around the world. During Vietnam's Vu Lan Festival, when young Buddhists gather to celebrate their parents' love, the pagoda becomes even more vibrant.

Tu Hieu pagoda

1.2. How to get to Tu Hieu from Hue city center?

For history and culture lovers, Tu Hieu pagoda is a destination that you must not miss when traveling to Hue. This beautiful pagoda is conveniently located just 5 kilometers from the center of the city. You can get there quickly and easily on a motorbike, car, or taxi. Follow Dien Bien Phu until you reach Le Ngo Cat Street, and look out for a signpost guiding you to the pagoda. If you get lost, you can ask locals for directions. 

Tu Hieu pagoda

2. History of Tu Hieu pagoda in Hue

According to historical documents, Tu Hieu pagoda in Hue is full of interesting stories. It was originally a Thao Am, a hut made of thatch serves as a monastery or a meditation retreat, founded by Zen master Nhat Dinh, who took care of his elderly mother here, who was very ill. 

Stories spread that this Zen master crossed steep passes daily with a cane to catch fish and buy meat for his mother. The story eventually made its way to King Tu Duc, who was touched by his filial piety and ordered the pagoda to expand in 1848. It was then renamed "Tu Hieu" in honor of Nhat Dinh's devotion to his mother—a remarkable example of filial piety in modern times.

According to a stele recording of the construction process of the pagoda, it holds an explanation for its name.

  • Tu: Symbolizes the great virtue of the Buddha; helping all beings. 
  • Hieu: In the Buddhist sense, it is filial piety, or respect and reverence towards parents.
Tu Hieu pagoda

3. Best things to do in Tu Hieu pagoda Hue

The spiritual beauty and tranquility of Tu Hieu pagoda in Vietnam call out to travelers around the world. From its grand architecture to its eunuch tombs and ancient artifacts, there is something for everyone to explore here: 

3.1. Explore the quaint architecture of the pagoda

Hidden beneath lush green pines, Tu Hieu pagoda is a unique combination of history, architecture, and natural scenery.

Built in the 19th century, Tu Hieu pagoda is packed with intricately carved dragon and phoenix images. Additionally, the pagoda boasts classic Hue royal architecture in its pillars, porch, and roof tiles. 

Its unique structure includes three compartments, two wings, and a main hall to worship Buddha. In the main hall, visitors may find two Buddha statues: Tam the Buddha and Shakyamuni Buddha, while the backyard contains an altar to worship Le Van Duyet, as well as deities, ancestors, and eunuchs. 

Tu Hieu pagoda

When walking the small tree-lined streets to reach it, visitors have an airy space and immerse themselves in tranquility while forgetting the hustle of everyday city life.

3.2. Discover the tombs of eunuchs

Tu Hieu Pagoda is famous for its cemetery, which is full of history and mysteries. Located at the back of the main hall, it holds the remains of 24 eunuchs from the Nguyen Dynasty.

Legend has it that these eunuchs generously donated to expand Tu Hieu pagoda and came here to spend their final days at the request of Zen master Nhat Dinh. Even today, visitors can still see the cemetery, which occupies an area of 1000 m2 and features a table honoring the eunuchs’ contribution. 

Tu Hieu pagoda

3.3. Visit famous tourist attractions in the vicinity

While exploring historic landmarks such as Tu Hieu pagoda, you can also find plenty of other interesting tourist attractions in Hue's vicinity. Let’s take a closer look at some of these places to visit:

  • Tu Dam Pagoda is renowned for its long history and ancient beauty. It also played a meaningful role in the campaign to revive Vietnamese Buddhism.
  • Vong Canh Hill will give visitors a captivating view of the Perfume River and its surrounding ancient relics, lush nature, and romantic beauty. 
  • Hue Royal Tombs: The city of Hue is home to seven royal tombs, three of which are especially well-preserved and easily accessible. These are Dong Khanh, Tu Duc, and Khai Dinh tombs, all located across the Perfume River from the Hue Citadel.
Tu Hieu pagoda

For those looking to get the most out of their travel experience in Vietnam, exploring Hoi An and Da Nang in addition to Hue is a must. To make this trip more convenient, booking accommodations at Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An ensures that tourists have easy access to all three destinations. 

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Tu Hieu pagoda

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Tu Hieu pagoda

With its stunning architecture, peaceful atmosphere, and spectacular mountain views, Tu Hieu pagoda is an unforgettable stop for anyone who is looking to explore Vietnam is history and culture. A visit to this pagoda provides an incredibly peaceful experience for those looking for a deeper connection with nature and their spirituality. If you are looking for the perfect place to explore and learn more about the country’s culture, be sure to take the time to visit this place!

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