Pho Minh Pagoda
Pho Minh Pagoda

Pho Minh Pagoda - Nam Dinh

Pho Minh Pagoda is in Tuc Mac Village, 4km north of Nam Dinh City and 94km south of Hanoi. The pagoda had been built when the Ly Dynasty was still ruling Vietnam, but was expanded in 1262 and later by the Tran Kings.

 

Gate to Pho Minh Pagoda
Gate to Pho Minh Pagoda

This area was the home-village of the Tran Kings. Under the Tran Dynasty, the Kings would retire early leaving the throne to the crown prince. The King's father then would go back to his home village and lived in Trung Quang Palace, just near Pho Minh Pagoda. The King's father and dignitaries of the Tran Family would worship at the pagoda that time. Because of that, Pho Minh Pagoda was important to the ruling Tran Dynasty.
 

Dragon carvings at Pho Minh Pagoda
Dragon carvings at Pho Minh Pagoda

The architecture and decorations of the pagoda still show much of those in Vietnam in the Tran Dynasty's times: lotus flower pond, lotus-flower decorations at the foot of the pillars, the Tran-styled dragon sculptures,  the stone candle holders...and the Pho Minh Tower. Pho Minh Tower, which was built in 1305, is just in front yard of the pagoda. Pho Minh Tower is 19 meters high and with 14 storeys. On top of the tower, there is a gourd-shaped decoration which is kind of talisman to catch the elite energy from the universe. The tower is believed to connect the Earth and the Universe.

Areca palm trees at the entrance to the pagoda
Areca palm trees at the entrance to the pagoda

Pho Minh Pagoda as well as other tourist attractions in Nam Dinh Province are seldom visited by the foreign travellers to Vietnam. The pagoda is mostly visited by the Vietnamese Buddhist Pilgrims and  tourists, especially in festival times (Mid January – February, September-October). Paradissa offers homestay tours and volunteer trips to Nam Dinh, which include visits to Pho Minh Pagoda and The Tran Kings' Temple.

A pond at Pho Minh Pagoda, Nam Dinh
A pond at the front of the pagoda

 

 

Pho Minh Pagoda, Nam Dinh
The tower of Pho Minh