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Hung Kings Temple, Phu Tho

Hung Kings Temple is a complex of majestic buildings located on Nghia Linh Mountain, Phong Chau District, in Phu Tho Province. The complex consists of Ha Temple and Pagoda, Gieng Temple, Trung and Thuong Temples, and Hung Kings Tomb. Two hundred and twenty five steps lie between Dai Mon Gate and Ha Temple, which was built in the 15th century.


According to the legend, Au Co gave birth to a pouch containing 100 eggs, which hatched to produce 100 children. Her husband, Lac Long Quan, led 50 children down to the coastal region to populate the land and propagate the race. Au Co brought 49 children up to the mountainous area. The eldest child, Hung Vuong, was left to become King; he founded the capital in Phong Chau and named the country Van Lang.

 

In front of the Ha temple, there is a 1, 000-year-old tree. It is in this temple that President Ho Chi Minh had a talk with the soldiers on their way to Hanoi in 1954. He told them "The Hung Kings had the merit of founding the country. You and I must stick together to safeguard it."

Over 150 steps must then be climbed to get to Trung Temple. According to legends, the Hung Kings built this temple as a place to rest and hold political meetings. It is also where Prince Lang Lieu presented sticky rice cakes to his father the King on the occasion of Tet Holiday.

Continuing up the hill is Thuong Temple. It was built by the 6th Hung King to worship Thanh Giong, a legendary hero who defeated the An invaders of the ancient Chinese dynasty. Later, the 18th Hung King abdicated in favor of Thuc Phan, who erected two stone pillars and swore to take care of the temple and of the Hung family's inheritance.

At the foot of the hill is the well. Ngoc Hoa and Tien Dung, the 18th Hung King's daughters, have been worshipped at this temple. It is said that the two princesses used to comb their hair and look at themselves in the water of this well.

Nowadays, the nearby public reception house, Cong Quan, houses the Hung Kings Museum, built to present numerous artifacts from the dawn of the nation when the Hung Kings founded and ruled the country.

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