Dong Co Temple

Buoi, Thuy Khue, Tay Ho, Hanoi
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Dong Co Temple is located in Buoi, Tay Ho, Hanoi. The temple was built in the Ly Dynasty. Dong Co temple was located near the northern side of the Thang Long Citadel. It is not only a landmark but also an outstanding example of the Ly Dynasty’s cultural heritage.

Dong Co Temple is located in Buoi, Tay Ho, Hanoi. The temple was built in the Ly Dynasty. Dong Co temple was located near the northern side of the Thang Long Citadel. It is not only a landmark but also an outstanding example of the Ly Dynasty’s cultural heritage.

Dong Co temple was originally constructed on the bank of To Lich River during the Ly Dynasty (11th century) to worship the Dong Co (Bronze Drum) God, a unique symbol of Vietnamese culture. Not only being a typical Vietnamese musical instrument, the ancient Vietnamese bronze drum is also a prayerful holy piece of Vietnamese for thousand years.

For the very first time, this temple was located on the Dong Co Mountain in Dan Ne, Yen Dinh, Thanh Hoa. It was orally told that King Ly Thai To (1010 – 1028) came staying in Truong An citadel in order to be about to fight against Chiem Thanh (Champa Kingdom).

At one night, the King had a strange dream that he met a man who wore velvet robes and told him that: “I am the god of Dong Co Mountain. I know that the King goes to conquer the southern enemies and wish to stand by his side to help him”. Consequently, the King successfully conquered the enemy’s land. To show his respectful honor to the god of Dong Co Mountain, the King commanded to build a temple in the left of the eastern citadel after he returned to his mainland.

After being pointed to be the new king, King Ly Thai Tong ordered to build another temple of Dong Co god on the right side of the royal citadel and choose the 25th day of 3rd lunar month to hold an “Oath-swearing” ceremony there. When working on the site of temple the workers were commanded to build a tall altar decorated many flying flags in front of the citadel and ordered all his people to attend.

The Dong Co god’s worshipping tablet was placed in the middle of the altar. All the military and civilian mandarins from the eastern part of the country came into the temple, knelt and swore, “If as children we are undutiful towards our parents and if as subjects, we are unfaithful or disloyal to the King, we will be surely killed by the God”. Later, the date of the ceremony was changed to the 4th day of the fourth lunar month and was held annually through the Tran (13th and 14th centuries) and Le (15th century) dynasties. It was developed into a festival later.

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