Ly Quoc Su Pagoda

Many people know Ly Quoc Su Pagoda because the local people come here in spring to wish for happiness and prosperity. But there are as well some interesting celebrations throughout the year especially around November as worshippers are coming to pray for the deceased.

You can find Ly Quoc Su Pagoda at 50 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. The Pagoda has originally been build to worship a Buddhist Monk of the Ly Dynasty (10th - 12th centuries). The name of the monk was Nguyen Chi Thanh and according to the story related to me he began practicing to be a Buddhist monk learning from Tu Dao Hanh, a well-known monk. 

Tu Dao Hanh was not only famous to be very knowledgeable in Buddhism but as well an excellent healer. He was given his title Ly Quoc Su by King Ly Than Tong whom he could cure of a disease that many famous doctors had failed to do. For his respectful virtue and talent, he was given the title Ly Quoc Su, which meant Great Monk and Merit Teacher of the nation.

He had his residential quarter granted by the king, which was situated next to Bao Thien Pagoda in the centre of Thang Long Capital, on a side of Luc Thuy Lake (Hoan Kiem Lake of today). Ly Quoc Su taught medicine and handed out prescription of medicines to many people in the temple and surrounding areas.

The Pagoda was restored and changed many times especially with the latest big restoration in 1954. The cultural and historical treasure of this temple is still Ly Quoc Su's statue. The name of Ly Quoc Su is as well a street running from Hang Bong to Nha Tho and passing by the pagoda as well.