Kim Lien Pagoda – The bloosom lotus on the surface of Tay Ho
1KM from the hotel
Kim Lien Pagoda is located in Nghi Tam village, Quang An commune, Tay Ho district, Ha Noi, about 2km to the west of Dragon Hotel. Visitors can follow the northern ring road of Hanoi (along the dike of Red River), to Nghi Tam, then find the Alley 1 of Au Co street to get to the pagoda.
Legend says that that the foundation of the pagoda is from the Ly Dynasty. Former princess Tu Hoa, the daughter of King Ly Than Tong (12th Century), brought her maid to this area to grow mulberry and silkworm, open the Ta Tang camp. This camp was renamed Nghi Tam Ward. According to the stone stele written by Bui Huy Can in 1868, the pagoda was previously named Dai Bi, and was built by this ward’s residents, Nguyen The Huu, in 1631. Seven years later, other ward residents contributed to the padoga’s expansion. In 1771, Lord Trinh Sam asked the Huy Lam to demolish the Bao Lam pagoda in the west of the city to renovate this pagoda and renamed it to Kim Lien pagoda. Kim Lien Pagoda has a unique architecture, looking like a lotus hatching on the surface of the lake Tay Ho. The carvings on the wood are embossed with dragon-shape and flower-shape scultures; The curving roof is attached with the shape of four gods in ceramic; Three words “Kim Lien Pagoda” (the meaning “Golden Lotus Pagoda”) located in the middle of the gate
From the three gates to the pagoda, visitors have to go through a wide yard. At this yard, there is still a stone stele with the size of 0.8 × 1.2m, there are many beautiful sculptures. According to the researchers, this is one of the remaining ancient steles in Hanoi, built in the first year of Thai Hoa, the reign of King Le Nhan Tong in 1443.
The appearance of the pagoda as it is nowadays is thanks to the restoration in 1792 with the layout of the letter “tam”, including three folds of houses arranging in parallel. These folds are two-tiered roofs in the style of scale tiles. From the side of the pagoda, the two roofs spread out on four sides with 24 soaring roofs rising up into the air, creating 24 blade peaks, displaying the ingenuity in the ancient architecture.
Kim Lien Pagoda also has many beautiful statues such as Tam The statue, A-di-statue, Quan The Am … containing high artistic value. This architecture has many similarities as of Tay Phuong Pagoda (Ha Tay).
In the pagoda there is also a statue, which aroused interest of all historians. The statue is shaped like a middle-aged man with a three-legged beard, wearing a casshock, holding a hat, and wearing a crown, there is theory said that is the Lord Trinh Giang or Lord Trinh Sam. But some believe that it is a statue of a monk preserving the pagoda, a former guardian of the Lord Trinh. In addition to this statue (built from more than two hundred years ago), in the middle room of the pagoda there is a horizontal banner with the message “Hoan An” (meaning: deep and spacious doctrine), made in 1870. There is also a horizontal banner with the message “Lien hoa hai hoi” (meaning: beautiful scene in the Buddha country) made thereafter in 1930.