Worshiping hero is a part of Vietnamese culture. Crossing the country, countless of temples have been building to honor Vietnamese heros. And Tran Hung Dao temple (Vietnamese: đền thờ Trần Hưng Đạo; đền thờ means temple) in Ho Chi Minh city is one of them.

About the temple

Tran Hung Dao was a Vietnamese royal prince, statesman and military commander of Dại Viet military forces during the Tran Dynasty (1225 to 1400). He’s well-know for successfully defeated two out of three times of Kublai Khan’s Mongol aggressors in the 13th century.

Tran Hung Dao Temple

After passed away, he was worshipped widely, mainly as a peace protector. And Tran Hung Dao temple in Ho Chi Minh CIty is one of the biggest temple, in Southern Vietnam, devoted to him. It was first erected in 1932 on the ground of Van An pagoda. In 1957, it was entirely rebuilt followed a design of architect Nguyen Manh Bao.

Architecture of Tran Hung Dao temple

The temple has three large gates. The main gate only opens on 15th, 30th on lunar calender, major festivals of the year and Agust 20th (his memorial day). Two side gates open regularly to welcome visitors to visit daily. On the roof of the main gate is the image of “two dragons flanking a moon”. Other corners adorned with dragon and phoenix figures. There is also a pair of white marble unicorn statues set up infront of the gate.

Tran Hung Dao Temple

In the campus of about 2,000m², the temple yard occupies most of the area, shading tall trees. The temple courtyard is paved with brown glazed tiles. Right at the beginning of the courtyard, is a statue of Tran Hung Dao cast in cement, painted in black and gold, which looks majestic and harmonious with the temple area.

Tran Hung Dao Temple

A statue of Tran Hung Dao

A corner of the yard quotes a passage from Hich Tuong Si written at the end of the 13th century before the second resistance war against the Mongol invaders by Dai Viet’s army and people.

Hich Tuong Si

The temple was built follow communal house style in Vietnam and divided into 2 halls. In the front hall, there are many lacquered boards, horizontal and vertical…describe the major events of the history during the Tran dynasty such as: Dien Hong Conference, Hoa River Oath, Bach Dang Battle 1288.

main hall of temple

inside Tran Hung Dao Temple

In the middle, there is an altar to the talented generals of the Tran dynasty such as: Tran Quang Khai, Tran Khanh Du, Pham Ngu Lao, Da Tuong, Yet Kieu.

Tran Hung Dao Temple

the altars of generals of Tran Dynasty

Next to the temple is the “Tran Dynasty Historical Exhibition” house built in 1929, currently closed for renovation. Every year, the temple organizes major holidays, among which are the death anniversary (August 20 of the lunar calendar) and birth anniversary (December 10) of Tran Hung Dao.

Tran Hung Dao Temple

Useful information

Source: collected by An

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