Nine kilometers from the Hue Citadel by road toward the source of the Perfume River, Hon Chen temple – Temple of the Jade Cup has long been dedicated to the Goddess Po Nagar of Champa, and later to the Goddess Thien Y A Na of Vietnam.
Date of construction of the temple was before the year 1555. The Nguyen Chronicle revealed that it was restored twice in 1832 and 1834 under Minh Mang, then enlarged and completed in 1886 under Dong Khanh, who respected the Goddess honoured in the temple. He called himself her “Younger Brother”, her his “Older Sister” and decreed two most important ritual ceremonies of the third and the seventh months of the Lunar Year to be the national festivals. Today, Dong Khanh’s portrait is still being honoured in the temple. It is him who renamed it the “Hue Nam Temple” (Temple of Grace for Southern Kingdom).
Perched on the southern side of the Hon Chen temple – Jade Cup Mountain on the left bank of the Perfume River, the temple is composed of some ten constructions, all set amid verdant foliage.
Most important is the Hon Chen temple which honours the Goddess, Emperor Dong Khanh and dozens of her leading disciples. On display inside are a great number of rare and attractive objects handed down from the past.
What could be a pleasant surprise to visitors is that if tiger is considered a beast to be exterminated at the Royal Arena, then it is sculptured and honoured on the temple grounds, just across the river.
This belief building complex is one of Hue’s beauty-spots.
Now if you want to visit Hon Chen temple, you join Hue city tour and take ferry boat across perfume river to explore this temple.