The Huyen Tran Cultural Center, also known as Princess Huyen Tran’s Temple, is an architectural complex imbued with rich cultural, spiritual, and historical significance. Over time, it has become a renowned tourist destination in Hue, bearing a profound spiritual atmosphere with a landscape reminiscent of Zen tranquility. It still maintains the intimate essence of the imagery closely associated with Buddhism and the culture of Hue.
Where is Princess Huyen Tran Temple located?
The Huyen Tran Cultural Center (commonly referred to as Princess Huyen Tran Temple by the people of Hue) is situated at 151 Thien Thai Street, An Tay Ward, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, approximately 14 kilometers away from the city center.
History of Princess Huyen Tran
According to historical records, Princess Huyen Tran (1287) was the beloved daughter of King Tran Nhan Tong and Queen Kham Tu. She was the one who set aside personal desires, embarked on a marriage of political convenience, and played a pivotal role in fostering harmony while expanding our nation’s territories to the south. She gave birth to the land of Thuan Hoa – Phu Xuan – Thua Thien Hue.
To honor her contributions in expanding the nation’s borders, the people of Thua Thien – Hue had already established a temple in the southern part of Hue in previous centuries. However, due to the changes in history and the ravages of prolonged warfare, the temple was completely destroyed.
In early 2006, the Huyen Tran Cultural Center was inaugurated, commemorating the 700th anniversary of the formation of the Thuan Hoa – Phu Xuan land, on March 26, 2007. This center stands as a tribute to Princess Huyen Tran and her enduring legacy.
Travel Guide to Huyen Tran Princess Temple:
How to Get to Huyen Tran Princess Temple
The temple is located approximately 14 kilometers from the city center of Hue, Vietnam. Getting there is not difficult, and you have a few transportation options:
- Renting a motorbike in the city.
- Taking a taxi or a private car.
If you plan to visit multiple locations in Hue, you can also consider using the services of a private driver in Hue from DanangPrivateCar.com, which offers quick, door-to-door service with professional drivers who have basic English language skills. Don’t hesitate to contact them to arrange your itinerary.
Opening Hours & Entrance Tickets:
- Opening Hours: Huyen Tran Princess Temple is open every day from 7 AM to 5 PM, including public holidays and Tet (Vietnamese New Year).
- Entrance Fee: The entrance fee to visit the Huyen Tran Cultural Center is 30,000 Vietnamese Dong, which is a reasonable price for a spiritual tourism destination. You can purchase your tickets on-site or, if you are in a group of 10 or more people, it’s advisable to book in advance to have a guide accompany your group. This way, you can not only enjoy the scenery but also listen to guides who will provide information about the history, cultural significance, and the fascinating legends associated with Princess Huyen Tran and the Thuan Hoa region.
Best Time to Visit Huyen Tran Temple
The ideal time to visit the Huyen Tran Princess Temple in Hue is from January to April when the weather is pleasant, not too rainy, and not too hot. Every year on the 9th of January in the lunar calendar, the Huyen Tran Temple Festival takes place, with the participation of thousands of tourists and local residents coming to pay tribute to the ancestors who contributed to expanding the nation’s borders. It’s a festive and culturally rich time to experience the temple.
What does the Huyen Tran Cultural Center have?
Since the Huyen Tran Cultural Center began its operations, the people of Thua Thien Hue and tourists have had an important place to visit and revisit the historical events associated with the formation of the land of Thuan Hoa – Phu Xuan and to remember the contributions of our predecessors, including Princess Huyen Tran.
As you approach the center, you’ll first see four imposing pillars with stone elephants at their bases. Following that, you’ll encounter three spacious courtyards paved with the famous Bat Trang ceramic tiles, complete with a pond and a small bridge resembling the Trung Dao Bridge over the Thái Dịch Lake in front of the Thai Hoa Palace within the Hue Imperial City. Beyond that lies the main entrance area and the inner sanctum where Princess Huyen Tran is worshipped. All these structures are aligned along a central axis, giving a solemn appearance.
Inside the temple, there is a bronze statue that depicts Princess Huyen Tran sitting on a pedestal. This statue, standing at 2.37 meters tall and weighing 700 kilograms, was meticulously crafted by renowned artisans from the Duc Ward in Hue City. In the rear hall of the temple, there is an altar dedicated to Doan Nhu Hai, a figure believed to have composed a eulogy to absolve King Tran Anh Tong from the anger of the Celestial Emperor. He was also the first Vietnamese official appointed by the king to govern the two regions of Cochin China and Red River Delta when they were incorporated into Dai Viet from Chiem Thanh.
Within the premises of the Huyen Tran Cultural Center, you can find various other architectural structures. One of these is the Peace Bell Tower, which stands at a height of 7 meters and is situated atop Ngu Phong Mountain. It includes a bell, the Peace Bell, weighing 1.6 tons and measuring 2.16 meters in height, meticulously crafted by artisans from the Duc Ward. The sound of the bell resonates, bringing moments of serenity and peace to those who hear it. Along the path leading to the Peace Bell Tower, you’ll come across a colossal statue of Maitreya Buddha, perpetually adorned with a radiant smile.
Additionally, in remembrance of the founding father of the Truc Lam Zen school, King Tran Nhan Tong, the Huyen Tran Cultural Center has undertaken to complete a construction project, aiming to make it a national destination for spiritual and Zen tourism. This project also encompasses various other structures like the Calligraphy House, the Orchid House, the Meditation Hall, and the Library, where primarily historical documents related to King Tran Nhan Tong, Princess Huyen Tran, and other heroic figures throughout the Tran dynasty are conserved, along with the history of Hue’s culture and architectural heritage, and the history of Champa’s culture.
Each corner of the Huyen Tran Cultural Center preserves a piece of “Hue’s uniqueness.” This uniqueness is reflected in the skillful craftsmanship of Hue’s artisans who have intricately carved details on roofs, pillars, and altars. It’s also reflected in the artistry of the bronze casting in the Duc Ward, which produced the authentic 1.6-ton Peace Bell standing at 2.16 meters. Furthermore, it’s visible in the vibrant embroidery and murals adorning the walls of various buildings, including even the outdoor plant pots.
But the pinnacle of the craftsmanship, finesse, and artistry of Hue’s artisans lies in the twin dragon statues guarding the front of the shrine to King Tran Nhan Tong. These twin dragon statues are recorded in the Vietnamese Record Book for their length of 108 meters, equivalent to the height of the Ngu Phong Mountain relative to sea level.
After climbing 246 steps to reach the summit of Ngu Phong Mountain and the Peace Bell Tower, you’ll be able to enjoy a panoramic view of the beautiful city of Hue. The meaning behind the phrase “World – Peace – Humanity – Happiness” along with the images of four temples: Giac Lam, Thien Mu, Dien Huu, and Truc Lam Yen Tu, inscribed on the bell, offers an experience of harmony and convergence.
Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting Huyen Tran Cultural Center:
- Dress Code: As it’s a spiritual and cultural destination, visitors should be mindful of their attire. Avoid wearing sleeveless tops and shorts that are too short, as it’s respectful to dress modestly when visiting such places.
- Special Experiences: Besides the usual cultural and spiritual activities like offering incense and learning about the culture, the Huyen Tran Cultural Center offers a unique and serene environment. It’s surrounded by lush greenery, providing a sense of peace and tranquility. Visitors can also enjoy new experiences such as mountain hikes to the Peace Bell Tower, making wishes and prayers at the Maitreya Buddha statue.
- Photography: If you enjoy photography, the surroundings of the Huyen Tran Cultural Center are beautiful and unique. The natural scenery and serene waters are picturesque, making it an excellent place for capturing memorable moments. The center’s setting is truly charming and photogenic.
The article above provides you with the fundamental information about Huyen Tran Princess Temple Hue – Huyen Tran Cultural Center, as shared by DanangPrivateCar.com. Don’t hesitate to visit this place to witness and appreciate the convergence of cultural values and imperial architecture in the ancient capital of Hue – one of the three major Buddhist centers in Vietnam.