I live near Linh Mụ, the iconic landmark of royal capital of Huế. It’s about 3 km away from my home but some time it takes me at least an hour to reach the staircase leading to the seven-storey of Phước Duyên since my photo walk is always slow and leisurely. I love this pagoda’s layout and atmosphere but the thing that makes me become a frequent visitor of this pagoda is the fact that it’s located on a hill overlooking Hương River. From here, you can span a wide view of serene Hương River any time of the day, any day of the year and rain or shine. This is my second best perch to enjoy the moon or sunset on Hương River while the best spot is Vọng Cảnh Hill near my office. Now you think I am a lucky person to live in such a picturesque city. Indeed, I feel blessed to be born in Huế City and to reside not very far from the holy pagoda which was built by Nguyễn Hoàng, the first Lord of Nguyễn Dynasty in Cochinchina, in 1601.
The pagoda was first named Thiên Mụ (Heavenly Lady) by Lord Nguyễn Hoàng but later his descendant, Emperor Tự Đức, renamed it Linh Mụ (Holy Lady) because Thiên (Heaven) was considered to be a taboo back then. Today, people are free to use both names to refer to this prestige pagoda.
Huế, March 18, 2017