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Hon Chen Temple Introduction
Hon Chen Temple is also known as Hue Nam temple or Hue Nam Shrine, a small temple where the Cham people (Champa Kingdom) worshiped the Po Nagar goddess. Po Nagar Goddess is the Earth mother who created the earth, people and taught people how to work, plant rice, etc. Lately, Vietnamese keep worshiping her under the name Thien Y A Na mother Goddess.
As you know, in The complex of Hue monuments, Hon Chen Temple tied with the most anecdotes. The local people still told each other about the old name of this temple from an ancient myth.
A long time ago, when Minh Mang emperor, the 2nd emperor of the Nguyen dynasty came to visit the temple. Unfortunately, he dropped off his favorite “Jade Cup” in the Perfume River. Thought that he lost it, but right then, a huge turtle appeared to return the cup of Jade to the emperor so he named this temple as Hon Chen ” Returned Jade Cup“.
But in some official documents of the Nguyen dynasty, it has the name ” Ngoc Tran Son Tu” means ” Ngoc Tran Temple”. Until the Dong Khanh Emperor, it has been changed to Hue Nam Temple means “The best fortune to the country“. Thus, so far, people familiarly call it the Hon Chen.
Hue Nam Temple History
A long long time ago, this is the temple where the Champa people worshiped the Po Nagar Goddess. Emperor Minh Mang restored and expanded to make it more solemn and bigger in 1832.
In 1954, Lieu Hanh Princess was also worshiped in this temple as known as Van Huong Goddess in this temple. In 1886, the Dong Khanh emperor reconstructed and changed the name from Hon Chen temple to Hue Nam Temple to wish for the best fortune to the country.
Hue Nam Temple Architecture
Nowadays, Hon Chen Temple is famous not because it is a religious relic but also as a relic of landscape architecture. The religious architecture was voiced by ancient people in a picturesque scene of the river mountain of Hue.
About 10 beautiful architectural monuments in this temple are on the back of the southeast slopes of the mountain. Hidden in the shade of ancient forest foliage. The level step way runs from the high temple down to the blue Water Wharf. The flat water surface is like a mirror, which is used for the panoramic nature and architectural tilt reflect. Step up to the temple from a dragon boat you will be easy to be lost in fairyland.
The architectural ground of the entire Hon Chen temple is not wide, including the main shrine is Minh Kinh Dai in the middle, facing the river. On the right is the Mandarin residence, Trinh Cat Monastery, Holy Pagoda. To the left is a 5 goddesses palace, the altar of mandarins, Tiger shrine, etc.
In the Minh Kinh Dai shrine, there are 3 worshiping levels. The first level to worship the Thien Y A Na goddess, Van Huong Goddess as well as Dong Khanh emperor.
The second level to worship the Buddhas, other Gods, Goddesses as well as to set up the worshiping offerings.
And the last level is the place where people can burn incense, praying, as well as offer offerings to the gods and goddesses.
On the top roofs of the architectural monuments in Hon Chen Temple, the decoration is all about the phoenix, the symbol for the richness of the female.
Where Is It And How To Get There?
Hon Chen Temple located on Ngoc Tran Mountain, Ngoc Ho Village, Huong Ho Commune, Huong Tra District, Thua Thien Hue Province.
Well, there are many different ways to get to Hue Nam Temple such as taking a dragon boat to go along the Perfume River. Plus you can take a scooter with helmets or you can book Hue City Tour By Private Car via Best Hue City Tour.
Hue Nam Temple Map
Hon Chen temple is not only a historical and religious relic but also scenic, unique cultural attraction. The religious architecture was anciently nested in a picturesque poetic scene of the river mountain of Hue. Nowadays, it attracts thousands of visitors, especially during the festival March and July of lunar calendar annually.