Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi
Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi

Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi

The Phu Dong Temple is in Phu Dong Village, Gia Lam District, Hanoi, Vietnam. The Temple was first built by King Hung Vuong VI, then rebuilt in the 11th Century A.D by King Ly Thai To, after he moved the capital city from Hoa Lu - Ninh Binh to Thang Long (Hanoi now). Phu Dong Temple is dedicated to  a Vietnamese National Hero - Saint Giong (Thanh Giong), who defeated the invaders and went back to heaven after the country was liberated.

 Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi - Vietnam
Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi - Vietnam

Legend says that in the reign of King Hung Vuong VI (1712-1632 B.C.) in the village of Phu Dong, there was an old couple and they were childless. One day, the wife went out to work in the paddy field and found a huge footprint in her field. She put one of her feet in the footprint and found herself pregnant when she got home. Then, she gave birth to a boy, whom they called Giong. Giong couldn't speak when he was 3 years old and he would just lie down wherever they placed him. 

 Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi - Vietnam

One day, Van Lang Kingdom was attacked by invaders from the north who was much more dominant. King Hung Vuong 6th sent his messengers around the kingdom to seek talented people to fight the enemy. Upon hearing the royal announcements by the messenger, the child suddenly asked the mother to call in the messenger. He told the messenger to inform the King he would need a steel horse, a steel stick and a steel armor to fight off the enemy.

Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi - Vietnam

While work was under progress to make the tools that Giong wanted; he turned to eat a lot and he grew bigger and bigger that no clothes would fit him. The whole village had to contribute food to feed Giong, as his parents would not be able to provide enough...

Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi - Vietnam

The invaders were approaching the capital city and all tools Giong wanted were delivered, he put on the armor, shuddered himself and turned to be a majestic knight. Giong jumped onto the horse which turned to spit out fire and charged into the enemy. Giong and his horse killed myriad invaders one group after another and his stick broke. He pulled off the golden bamboo nearby and kept on fighting till no invaders were left alive...Giong rode his horse to the summit of Soc Son Mountain (north of Hanoi now) where he left behind the armor and flew into the blue sky.

Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi - Vietnam

To commemorate the great work of Saint Giong, King Hung Vuong VI  built a temple for him in Phu Dong Village. There is a series of ponds and lakes along the area that the locals say from the footprints of Saint Giong's horse; the bamboos in the area got the golden color due to fire spat out by the horse. There is even a village called Chay (Burned down Village) which was burned down by fire from the horse charging into the enemy...

Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi - Vietnam

Phu Dong Temple Festival is held annually on the 9th of the 4th lunar month, the day Saint Giong went to heaven. Le festival participated by 1200-1300 villagers for recreating the scenes of the battles that Saint Giong fought earlier. On 16-November-2010, UNESCO  inscribed the Phu Dong Temple Festival (Giong Festival) to be a World Intangible Heritage and the certificate was officially delivered to Phu Dong Village on 22-January-2011.

 

Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi - Vietnam
Altar at Phu Dong Temple

 

Phu Dong Temple - Hanoi - Vietnam
The back building at the temple of Phu Dong