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The legendary well of pearl

Tourists have to climb up hundreds of steps through Ha, Trung and Thuong temples and a stone pole on 175-meter-high Nghia Linh Mountain to reach Gieng Temple.

Gieng Temple is located at the last section of the Hung Kings Temple. Gieng Temple’s door is always open to welcome guests. Rumor has it that if a visitor looks at the image of his/her face reflected in a well named “Pearl Well” in the temple, he/she will be lucky and his/her dreams will come true.

After a day climbing to the top of the holy mountain of Nghia Linh, everyone wants to enter the temple to visit the legendary well. The well is considered a holy relic amidst the majestic worshiping place. It is made from a kind of hard stone and its mouth is half a meter tall from the temple floor. The sunlight, the red light from the shrine and the smell of aloe wood make tourists feel as if they were lost in a mysterious holy space.

Legend has it that the well has been there since the reign of King Hung the 18th. Once when the king and his servants were holding a ritual offering sacrifice to heaven on Nghia Linh Mountain, the princesses hung around. To the southeast of the mountain, Tien Dung and Ngoc Hoa princesses found a pool and looked at themselves in the clear water. They also drank the clear, refreshing water. Ever since, they often visited this place. As the two princesses taught locals how to grow water paddy and contain floods, people showed their deep gratitude by setting up the temple to worship them.

Gieng Temple was built in the 17th century, and the pool was turned into a well inside the temple and was named pearl well, perhaps thanks to its clear water.

Visitors to Hung Kings Temple and the pearl well were formerly invited to drink the water of the well, wash their faces or bring the water home. Unfortunately, the well is now covered by a metal net.

Gieng Temple is one of the four main architectural works at Hung Kings Temple amidst picturesque natural sceneries. Inside Gieng Temple is a wide lotus pond embraced by willows and shade trees that make an ideal rest stop for visitors.

Gieng Temple was constructed in traditional Vietnamese architecture with many compartments. The gate of Gieng Temple, resembling the main gate of Hung Kings Temple but smaller and shorter, comprises two floors and eight roofs. Either side of the gate are parallel sentences and statues of guards and tigers.

SGT

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