Exploring special “destinations” at Hung Kings’ Temple

Exploring special “destinations” at Hung Kings’ Temple

The cycad tree is nearly a thousand years old

Exploring special “destinations” at Hung Kings’ Temple

The ancient cycad tree has existed for 8 centuries.

From the main gate, passing through high stone steps, visitors will first come to the Ha (Lower) Temple. Legend has it that in this place Mother Au Co gave birth to a sac of a hundred eggs, which is also the origin of “compatriot” (the same sac). Next to the temple is Thien Quang Pagoda, whose full name is “Thien Quang Thien Tu”, formerly known as “Vien Son Co Tu”, “Son Canh Thua Long Tu”.

Right in front of the temple gate is a 3-top cycad tree with a unique posture, estimated to be more than 800 years old. This is one of the oldest trees in Hung Kings’ Temple. The tree is over 5m tall, with the base diameter of about 35cm, and the trunk tilted about 30 degrees. From the trunk, three branches radiate out in all directions, symbolizing the three regions North - Central - South sharing the same origin.

Under this tree, on September 19, 1954, President Ho Chi Minh listened to comrade Thanh Quang - Chief of the Central Military Commission Office and comrade Song Hao - Political Commissar of the Pioneer Army report on the situation of the Pioneer Army and the plan to bring soldiers to take over the Hanoi capital.

Stone table set

From Thien Quang Pagoda, step up more than a hundred stone steps to the Trung (Middle) Temple area, also known as “Hung Vuong To Mieu”. Coming to the middle of the temple yard, visitors will see a stone table set with 8 seats. Rustic stones, discolored over time. Legend has it that this is where King Hungs, Lac marquis and Lac generals had meetings on state affairs.

Exploring special “destinations” at Hung Kings’ Temple

Stone table set with 8 seats at the Trung (Middle) Temple, Hung Kings’ Temple Historical Relic Site.

This is the place associated with the familiar legend of “Banh Chung, Banh Giay” that has been passed down through many generations. According to the ancient legend, the sixth Hung King held a talent contest to choose his successor. The youngest son, Lang Lieu, with his intelligence and filial piety, created two types of square and round cakes symbolizing heaven and earth, expressing his philosophy of thinking about the universe, conveying his wish for comprehensive development of the ancient Vietnamese people.

Oath stone pillar

Located at the highest position on Nghia Linh peak is the Thuong (Upper) Temple, whose literal name is “Kinh Thien Linh Dien”, meaning the Temple of Heaven on Nghia Linh Mountain. In front of the temple gate, slightly to the right, there is a large stone pillar called the Oath Stone Pillar, associated with the legend of the oath of Thuc Phan - An Duong Vuong.

Exploring special “destinations” at Hung Kings’ Temple

The stone pillar is associated with an oath to preserve the country land.

The “Traditional Jade Genealogy of the Eighteen Kings of the Hung Dynasty” reads: “When Thuc Vuong gained the country, out of appreciation for Due Vuong’s ceding of his country, whose merit was as great as heaven and earth, he went to Nghia Linh Mountain to establish a temple which was used as a place of worship for the country, erecting two stone pillars in the middle of the mountain, and pointing to the sky and praying: May the high heavens watch and witness my commitment that the Southern country will exist forever, and so will the Hung Kings’ temple. If later kings break this oath, they will get the God’s punishments for their betraying of the oath towards their predecessors.

In 1968, researchers found ancient stone pillars deep underground in the Thuong (Upper) Temple area and had the stone pillars restored and rebuilt. In 2010, the old stone pillars were replaced with monolithic agate and has been preserved to this day.

Ancient Well

Exploring special “destinations” at Hung Kings’ Temple

The Ancient Well’s roof was renovated and restored in 2004.

Exploring special “destinations” at Hung Kings’ Temple

The Ancient Well is associated with the story of Mother Au Co giving birth to a hundred eggs.

From the Thuong (Upper) Temple, past Hung Kings’ Tomb, following the stone path of more than 700 steps down to the Gieng (Well) Temple, visitors will encounter a large, covered well, which is the Ancient Well, also known as the Dragon Well. Legend has it that after Mother Au Co gave birth to a bundle of a hundred eggs that hatched into a hundred children, she used the water from this well to bathe her children.

In 2002, scientists conducted excavations at the Ancient Well, discovering many cultural vestiges of the Ly, Tran, Le, and Nguyen dynasties inside the well.

Pearl Well

More than a dozen stone steps right below the Ancient Well is the Well Temple area, where in the past two princesses Tien Dung and Ngoc Hoa, daughters of the 18th Hung King, often came to mirror themselves in the well water and comb their hair.

Exploring special “destinations” at Hung Kings’ Temple

Tourists respectfully pray at the Pear Well.

In the harem of the Well Temple, there is still a circular well, called the Pearl Well, with the literal name being Ngoc Tinh. The well is nearly 2 meters deep and has very clear and cool water all year round. The well’s bottom is embanked with stone, and the well’s shaft is made from a single block of stone carved into it.

At the Well Temple, President Ho Chi Minh sat and talked with officers and soldiers of the Pioneer Army and assigned the task of taking over the Capital after the Dien Bien Phu Victory in 1954.

Not only do they have the opportunity to visit long-standing worship structures and see meaningful antiques, coming to the Hung Kings’ Temple, visitors will also be able to live in the space of the green national forest complex of the Hung Kings’ Temple, enjoying the fresh and sacred atmosphere of the Fatherland.

Binh Nhi

3:10:04:2024:19:13 GMT+7

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