Just five kilometers far from the center of Hue city, Thien Mu Pagoda is situated on Ha Khe Hill, Huong Long Commune that is at the northern bank of Perfume River.
According to a legend, once upon a time the local people saw a woman in red shirt and green pants who usually appears on the top of this hill. And one day she had suddenly told them that “Someday the Lord will drop by here and bring himself an important power to be helpful for this region” and disappeared at once afterwards. Since then, the hill has been called Thien Mu Son (The Mountain of Lady from the Heaven). Nguyen Hoang Lord passed by Thuan Hoa was told about the strange story and decided to build this pagoda and named it as Thien Mu Tu (Thien Mu Pagoda), and till the present it is also known as another name of Linh Mu Pagoda. Passing through thousands of eventful years, the pagoda remains it original shape and symbol despite of many damages and renovations.
The pagoda started to be built in 1601, and in 1655 it was restored for the first time according to Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan’s instruction. Subsequently, Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu ordered to cast a really big bell with a measure of 2,5 meters height and 3285kg in 1710 and build stele with the height of 2.58 meters put on the back of a marble tortoise in 1715. The pagoda was stored many times in all of the reign of King Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri, Thanh Thai. In 1844, King Thieu Tri has asked to build a tower called Phuoc Duyen Tower ( or Tu Nhan Tower) in the pagoda, it is a tower with octagonal shape consists of 7 floors ( equivalent to 21 meters). The main sanctuary of this pagoda is Dai Hung Palace that is a really majestic construction works. You will catch it easily after passing 3 door gate and 12 big wooden sculptures of the temple guardians. In the palace, apart from many bright statues of Buddha that are made of bronze in 1677, there is also a horizontal lacquered board engraved with Chinese characters) is dedicated by Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu himself in 1714. Along the two sides of the pagoda, we can see some small houses where the monks used to relax or be used to welcome the guests.
The landscape of Thien Mu Pagoda will sastify the tourists to Hue with a peaceful and relaxed emotion thanks to a fresh garden to be full of flower and green grass. With a great situation on the bank of romantic Perfume River as well as ancient architecture are both significant contribution for a great picture of the nature here. Moreover, there is a forest of pine behind the pagoda that makes a quite and romantic scene. All of these creates an attractive Thien Mu Tu in the tourist’s mind.
Furthermore, there is also an important symbol of Hue that is the sound of the bell in the pagoda, is considered Hue’s spirit that is even brought into a famous poem as a good impression for everybody about Hue City.
A tour to this prestigious sightseeing will be impressive to the tourists who would like to enjoy both typical traditional architecture of Hue and scenery landscape.
Because of a quite short distance that is only 4 kilometers far from the center of the city, there are flexible vehicles could be a choice for the travelers to get there. You can choose a taxi, a motorbike taxi, a rented motorbike, as well as a boat or even a bicycle. Furthermore, there are some interesting destinations that is near the pagoda as Hue Temple of Literature and Huyen Khong Pagoda, it is a good idea to combine a tour including these ones at the same time.
Another helpful tip for those who would love to enjoy a bike tour in summer is that you should choose the moment of early morning of late afternoon for the departure time to avoid the terrible heat of Hue.