Pay homage to selfless royalty
Huyen Tran's statue in her temple at Ngu Phong Mountain in Hue On the outskirts of central Hue Town stands a temple to Huyen Tran, a thirteenth-century princess who sacrificed love for duty.
The temple is the centerpiece of a two-year-old cultural center named in her honor at the foot of pine-clad Ngu Phong Mountain in An Tay Ward.
Huyen Tran (1287-?) was the beloved daughter of King Tran Nhan Tong and was reputed to be the secret lover of General Tran Khac Chung of the Tran court.
Instead of following her heart, the princess agreed to a political marriage in 1306 to King Jaya Simhavarman III (or Che Man in Vietnamese) of the Champa Kingdom to the south.
As his wedding dowry, Che Man surrendered O and Ri districts, which thereby expanded Vietnam's territory southward from what is now the southern bank of the Hieu River in Quang Tri Province to the northern bank of the Thu Bon River in Quang Nam Province.
After her husband died, Champa custom dictated that the princess be burned alive so that she could accompany him to the afterworld.
Instead, she was rescued by her military paramour.
One story has it that the pair escaped across the sea and never went back to Vietnam but there's no historical evidence to back it up. In another telling, Huyen Tran returned home and became a nun.
The tale of her love and sacrifice has been the inspiration for countless literary works through the ages.
Back in the modern world, there are three gates to pass through to reach Huyen Tran's temple, which houses a gold-plated copper statue of the princess.
The 240-centimeter-tall statue sits atop the main altar and was made by artisans of Hue's Duc Ward.
Behind the temple is an octagonal pavilion with a statue of Huyen Tran as a nun with the adopted Buddhist name Huong Trang.
There are also two stone dragons on the temple grounds, one of them measuring 105 meters from snout to tail.
From the temple, 250 steps lead up to the summit of Ngu Phong Mountain and the Bell Tower of Peace with its 1.6-ton copper bell.
Strike it and pray for whatever your heart desires.
Reported by Khoi Vu
Source : thanhniennews.com
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