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Den Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoa Lu

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Den Dinh Tien Hoang or Dinh Tien Hoang Temple, is a temple in Hoa Lu, Vietnam, dedicated to the ruler of the 10th Dinh dynasty. I visited this temple, a tourist attraction, on a day trip from Hanoi about 110km away.

Den Dinh Tien Hoang was first constructed in the 11th century, and was reconstructed in 1696. That's what I read, from my research. According to my tour guide, however, it was reconstructed in 1905. Well anyway, the temple now faces east while the original used to face north. To enter it, you go through two arches, the Outer Triumphant Arch and the Inner Triumphant Arch. In front of the temple is a courtyard, and right in the centre of the courtyard, is the Dragon Bed, from the 17th century. It is carved out of a single piece of rock, and must have weighed a lot. Gifts and food offerings are placed on the Dragon Bed during festivals.

Within the temple are deified personalities. On the central altar is King Dinh Tien Hoang, also called Dinh Bo Linh. On a pillar is written the words "Dai Co Viet", the name of the Vietnamese kingdom of that time. On another pillar, a script proclaims, "Hoa Lu is prosperous as a capital."

Going behind the altar, we enter a windowless back room with light streaming down the skylight. Here, we find the 19th centuray wooden statue of Dinh Tien Hoang framed by the statues of his three sons. On the viewer's right is his eldest son, Dinh Quoc Lien, who although was the eldest, was not his father's chosen heir apparent. Because of that, Dinh Quoc Lien engineered the assassination of his brother, Dinh Hang Lan, who was to assume the throne. The assassination took place in 979. If Dinh Quoc Lien thought that pushes him straight in line for the throne, he was mistaken. The next year another round of palace assassination took place, and this time both the king and Dinh Quoc Lien were put away. The throne went to the king's youngest son Dinh Toan, a mere six years old, whose rule lasted a mere six months. Then General Le Hoan overthrew him, and set up the Le dynasty.

A temple is also set up to worship the deified General Le. It is located a short walking distance away. I also visited and documented that templek, Den Le Hoan.

How to go to Den Dinh Tien Hoang

You can easily get a day tour from Hanoi to visit Den Dinh Tien Hoang, which is packaged as a tour of Hoa Lu and Tam Coc, from most travel agents in Hanoi. The tour begins in the morning and ends at the early part of the afternoon. Den Dinh Tien Hoang is located in Hoa Lu about 110km from Hanoi, and takes 2 hours to reach.

Den Dinh Tien HoangDen Dinh Tien Hoang (2 September, 2016)


Den Dinh Tien HoangDen Dinh Tien Hoang (2 September, 2016)


Den Dinh Tien HoangDen Dinh Tien Hoang (2 September, 2016)


Den Dinh Tien HoangDen Dinh Tien Hoang (2 September, 2016)


Den Dinh Tien HoangDen Dinh Tien Hoang (2 September, 2016)


Den Dinh Tien HoangDen Dinh Tien Hoang (2 September, 2016)


Den Dinh Tien HoangDen Dinh Tien Hoang (2 September, 2016)


Den Dinh Tien HoangDen Dinh Tien Hoang (2 September, 2016)


Den Dinh Tien HoangDen Dinh Tien Hoang (2 September, 2016)


Den Dinh Tien HoangDen Dinh Tien Hoang (2 September, 2016)

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