Nhat Tru (also known as One Pillar Pagoda) is an ancient pagoda dating back to the tenth century, located in the complex of ancient relics Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh Vietnam). The pagoda also preserves many antiquities associated with the history of the Hoa Lu ancient capital.
“Dinh” (丁) architectural style
Nhat Tru Pagoda, also known as One Pillar Pagoda, is one of the famous temples that have been classified as a national monument. Located in the ancient relic of Hoa Lu ancient monument in Truong Yen commune with Yen Thanh temple, the temple of Princess and King Le Dai Hanh Temple, the pagoda is a relic of historical value and unique artistic architecture of Hoa Lu ancient capital. It is one of attractions in Ninh Binh amazing tour.
The pagoda is located on an area of more than 3.000m2, with the architectural items including the main pagoda in the layout of the Dinh, including the Tien Duong (The main lobby) and Thuong Dien (Buddha Worship house), the ancestor worship house, the guest house, the tower and the auxiliary works.
The gate of the pagoda was built on the right side of the pagoda with 2-storey roof. The exterior of the pagoda was carved with three Chinese words, “Nhat Tru Tu” (One Pillar Pagoda). The five-chambered main lobby has many details carved images of leaves, clouds or word “tho” (壽) in the circle, bearing the imprint of the Nguyen period.
The three-chamber Buddha worship house is connected to the main lobby, which also has the same structure. This is the space of the Buddha statues in the temple with the statues such as Tam The, Tam Ton, Guan Yin, Guan Yin on Mountain, Buddha and so on.
Relics of the pagoda are quite rich, but prominent is the bronze bell molded in 1799 with the teachings bearing humanity of Buddhism: “Do good and you will meet hundreds of good things … The good people are always happy, this is the law of cause and effect “. Particularly in the system of relics of the temple, there is the Thach Kinh or Buddhist columns in the front yard of the temple.
Unique stone Buddhist pillar
Taking a Hoa Lu Tam Coc tour, you will have a chance to admire the unique Buddhist pillar. In Buddhist terms, it is called Surangama similar to Dinh Lien Buddhist pillar found on the banks of the Hoang Long River. The difference is that the pillar of Nhat Tru Pagoda is much larger in size, on the other hand, there is a lotus ring around the pillar, while the pillar of Dinh Lien has no decoration details. The pillar in Nhat Tru pagoda is octagonal with the height of 4.16m, consisting of 6 parts which are joined together by trusses, including a square base, round base, octagonal body, octagonal flower and gourd top.
All the parts are attached together without any binder but are very stable even after thousands of years. According to the record of Nhat Tru Pagoda, the square base has a rectangular shape approximately 140cm, 30cm thick; round hole in the middle has a 29cm diameter and 55cm depth.
Today, the pagoda is a place of cultural and spiritual activities, and an inseparable part of the ancient relics of Hoa Lu.