Tu Hieu Ancient Pagoda
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Peaceful pagoda, silent with time
Tu Hieu Pagoda is an ancient pagoda, bearing bold old architecture of Hue ancient capital. Perhaps because Tu Hieu Pagoda is tinged with mysterious pristine colors between religion and life, over time, this place becomes one of the famous landscapes of the ancient capital attracting many tourists.
Peaceful pagoda, silent with time
Address: Duong Xuan Thuong III village, Thuy Xuan, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue

Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thuy Xuan Ward, Hue City (Thua Thien Province – Hue). Tu Hieu Pagoda is hidden in a pine forest on a hillside (mountain) of Thuy Xuan ward. The temple campus is about 8 acres, in front of which there is a curved ditch, a poetic landscape. This is also a pagoda associated with the story of the piety of the child with the elderly mother and is the only pagoda that is currently the resting place of the eunuchs in the Nguyen Dynasty.


The pagoda symbolizes filial piety

Tu Hieu pagoda was originally just a Thao Am (shrine) with the name of An Dung Am set up by the zen master Nhat Dinh. He was the monk of the Giac Hoang Pagoda in the palace, after retirement, he went to the forest to nurture his elderly mother and practice purification here. Legend has it that because his elderly mother was seriously ill, he had to nourish with meat, so every day the monk had to cross the road with a stick to find fresh fish to cook porridge for his mother. People see that, so gossip is a monk but he eats salty, he still ignores all to take care of his mother. Rumors reached King Tu Duc's ears, the king then let people investigate to learn that he cooked porridge for his sick mother and still fasted every day, a practicing mind. The king heard that and was touched by the filial piety of the Zen master on the high mountain. Later, in 1848, a year after the death of the Zen master Nhat Dinh, perhaps, touched by the virtue of the old monk, the construction of the expansion of Thao Am into Tu Hieu pagoda was always helped by the court, the eunuchs and the Buddhists. When the pagoda was completed, Emperor Tu Duc remembered the old story and gave the pagoda the name "Tu Hieu Tu".

The burial place of zen master Nhat Dinh, who is associated with the story of piety

In the inscription, the construction process of the pagoda is explained:

• Tu: is the great kindness of the Buddha, if not the patience then take what continues to help all kinds of beings.

• Hieu: is the Buddha's virtue, if you do not have filial piety, what do you take to reach the world that covers the earth and heaven?

Along with the contribution of Buddhists, Tu Duc emperor provided many funds, the pagoda was also donated money by officials in the Nguyen Dynasty, especially the eunuchs to take care of the worship later, in 1848 Hoa Thuong Cuong Ky began to build a larger scale pagoda and then Tu Hieu became a large pagoda.

In 1894 Venerable Cuong Ky continued to renovate and build a panoramic pagoda with the help of Thanh Thai emperor, eunuchs and Buddhists.

In 1931 Venerable Hue Minh continued to renovate and build a semicircular lake.

In 1962 Venerable Chon Thiet continued to renovate and reconstruct the entire pagoda.

In 1971, the pagoda was restored by the Venerable Chi Niem for the restoration of the three-arched gate, the semicircular lake and the damaged houses.

Stone stele at Tu Hieu pagoda - Photo: Tan Nhat (


The ancient pagoda has bold beauty of Hue architecture

Not only is the pagoda associated with the touching piety story but Tu Hieu pagoda is also distinguished by the harmonious combination of architecture and poetic natural scenery that makes many people feel lost in the half-real world of green pine forests. This is also one of the highlights of the pagodas in Hue, always immersed in the natural scenery.

Following the small tree-lined streets, Tu Hieu pagoda gradually appeared with airy space, and charming water paint, both simple and bearing the appearance of Hue royal architecture. Coming to Tu Hieu Pagoda, visitors will feel pure and seem to forget the troubles of urban life when breathing fresh air here. 

The entrance to the main hall with two rows of green trees - Photo: Tan Nhat (

The pagoda is built in the style of the word "Khau" (square shape) with the traditional three spaces in the main building and two compartments on the sides to form a closed whole. The main hall is the place of Buddha worship and the back is the place of ancestor worship. Unlike many other temples, besides the statues of the Three World Buddhas and Shakyamuni Buddha, the worship of pictures instead of statues is also a special feature that makes the space of the majestic place of worship closer. The roof corners of the pagoda and the reliefs are carved, covered and decorated with ceramics with dragon phoenix patterns that are both simple and have the appearance of Hue royal architecture.

The main hall of Tu Hieu pagoda is tinged with wild and mysterious colors between religion and life.

The solemn worship space at Tu Hieu ancient temple - Photo: Tan Nhat (

Crossing the courtyard in the middle with many kinds of ornamental plants is the Hau building or also known as Quang Hieu Duong. This is the place to worship the Duc Thanh Quan, home Buddhist and eunuchs – those who have the merit of building temples,... In addition, there is also a sentence to worship the Emperor of the Imperial Army Le Van Duyet along with his wooden horse and great sword and many other gods.

A corner of Tu Hieu pagoda space - Photo: Tan Nhat (

In addition to the harmonious space, each house has the architectural appearance of Hue garden houses in harmony with nature with a lotus lake with a fragrant lotus lake, a large aquarium, a small stream, a small pagoda door, a majestic mossy three-arched gate, lush green trees, etc. Everyone who comes here once feels the lightness and relaxation in their soul. 

The resting place of the eunuchs of the Nguyen Dynasty

Coming to Tu Hieu Pagoda, many visitors are curious about a cemetery located on the pagoda's own premises. Few people know that it is a unique cemetery, the resting place of more than 24 Nguyen Dynasty eunuchs. This cemetery is located on the right side of the pagoda with an area of nearly 1000m2, surrounded by protective walls about 1,5m high. More than 24 tombs are divided into three rows, arranged from small to large according to the position of the ancient eunuch. In the middle is an inscription attributing their contribution to the court.

Resting place of 24 eunuchs of the Nguyen Dynasty

Leaving behind the worries and troubles of worldly life, the ancient people of Hue often come to Tu Hieu pagoda to find peace in the heart and tranquility of everything. Perhaps because Tu Hieu Pagoda is tinged with mysterious pristine colors between religion and life, over time, this place becomes one of the famous landscapes of the ancient capital. And it was here that the famous Zen master of Thich Nhat Hanh of Mai village, decided to live in the ancestor land with his brothers and descendants of To Dinh until the day of his death.

Route Guide:

How to go to Tu Hieu Pagoda?

Because it is only about 5km from Hue city center, visitors can easily travel by motorbike, personal car, or taxi to Tu Hieu pagoda. Follow all the Dien Bien Phu street. Then, turn to Le Ngo Cat Street, and follow the road you will see the sign to go to the pagoda. This is a very famous place on the Hue tourism map, so if you get lost, you can ask any people the way. 

With the harmonious beauty between architecture and poetic space, today the ancient temple is also a destination that attracts many domestic and foreign tourists - Photo: Tan Nhat (

With a beautiful, quiet, and airy location, in contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city, on holidays, the temple welcomes a large number of visitors to visit and picnic. If you feel tired or pressured, Tu Hieu is the place to help you calm down, relax, and immerse yourself in a peaceful and comfortable natural place to forget your worries and sorrows.