Thang Long ‘s four guardian god temples have vital locations in Hanoi – the 1,000 year old capital. Today we’ll learn about the two other guardian god temples.
Quan Thanh Temple
Quan Thanh is located on the intersection of Thanh Nien and Quan Thanh streets on the bank of the Truc Bach Lake, next to the West Lake. The temple worships God Huyen Thien Tran Vu who helped Hung King defeat invaders and helped people to prevent ghosts and natural disasters. This reflects the religion of worshiping gods who have magic to enhance people’s strength in the period of building the country. This suited Taoism which was brought to the country in the medieval age and then harmoniously combined with Buddhism.
The temple of Thang Long citadel was built during the Ly Dynasty and has undergone repairs. The temple now has architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty and maintains some relics dated from Le Trung Hung King. In front of the temple is a flower garden with a number of ancient trees on the yard. The temple has different rooms for different worshiping purposes. In the temple is a 3m and 4 tonne bronze statue of Huyen Thien Tran Vu holding a sword on the back of a turtle. The statue reflects strength and longevity. It was casted in late 17th century and overhauled in the 19th century.
Bach Ma Temple
The temple is located in Hang Buom Street on the bank of Red River, near the mouth of To Lich River. This is to worship God Long Do (also known as Quang Loi Bach Ma). Long Do is a god of Nung Mountain. When Chinese dominated the country, a Chinese general wanted to set up an altar, bury bronze and iron to control the country’s fate, the god created rains and thunders and destroyed his altar, forcing him to return his country.
When King Ly Thai To was building Thang Long Citadel, he faced a lot of difficulties. When coming to Bach Ma Temple to ask for help, he saw a white horse going from the temple. The horse ran along a circle clockwise, then returned to the temple and disappeared. The king ordered his people to build the citadel along the circle and he succeeded. After building the citadel, the king restored the temple and conferred a title as Quang Loi Bach Ma on the god in the temple. In the past, around the temple was a busy floating market where goods from all regions and foreign countries were sold.
Among the four temples, Bach Ma was built the soonest. When Yuan invaders came and burn the Thang Long Citadel, the temple was luckily not burnt. The temple has been repaired many times.