Photos: Linh Mụ Pagoda

A monk taking pictures of Hương River on an overcast day

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.

It was a sunny morning when I visited Linh Mụ this morning.
The road leading to Linh Mụ from my home
The staircase leading to Linh Mụ Pagoda
The iconic Phước Duyên Tower
A view of Hương River from Linh Mụ
You could visit Linh Mụ pagoda on dragon boat from the center of Huế City.
One of the stele houses at Linh Mụ
One of the arched entrances to Đại Hùng Temple
Đại Hùng is the main temple of Linh Mụ.
The foundation of the drum pavilion at Linh Mụ
Simple yet serene garden at Linh Mụ
Novice monks doing chores
Novice monks cleaning up the garden
The tomb of one of the venerables of Linh Mụ Pagoda
There’s a small pine tree garden at the back of the pagoda where visitors can enjoy some breeze and shade in a hot day.

Huế, March 18, 2017