Bai Dinh Pagoda
Bai Dinh Pagoda is a religious complex which is very well-known for many Asian and Vietnamese records. The complex of Buddhist temples locates on Bai Dinh Mountain in Ninh Binh province, known as the ancient capital of Vietnam.
Bai Dinh temple is a famous destination, popular place, attracting a lot of tourists every year, especially Buddhist pilgrimages. The total area of Bai Dinh is 539 hectare, consisting of 27 hectares of Bai Dinh ancient pagoda, 80 hectares of Bai Dinh newly-created pagoda area, and the others are cultural parks and Buddhist institutes, reception and public areas. Bai Dinh pagoda complex locates on the mountain side, between the valleys of lakes and rocky mountains; and also in the western gateway to Hoa Lu ancient capital.
Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex
The new pagoda was built in 2003. It’s architecture is very modern but still possesses the traditional identity, which attracts lots of Vietnamese tourists. Bai Dinh Pagoda has become the largest spiritual and cultural temple complex of Vietnam and Southeast Asia. There have been 8 records in Vietnam, as well as Asia about Bai Dinh, such as the biggest bronze bell in Vietnam, the highest and heaviest Buddha statue in Asia, the biggest gold-plated Tam The statue in Vietnam, the biggest bronze Buddha statue in Southeast Asia, and so on.
If you have the chance to visit Bai Dinh pagoda, visitors will be astonished at the collection of 500 Arahat statues on the right – hand side of Phap Chu Temple. The Arhat statues with the height of 2.3m, carved totally from Ninh Binh stone. Each of statue has different positions and gestures that create lively and amazing artificial scenary.
Phap Chu Palace
From Phap Chu Palace, tourists continue their journey to Tam The Palace. This is the most magnificent architecture in Bai Dinh complex and also the largest Buddhist shrine in Vietnam. Tam The Palace has a 3 main curved roof and 12 roofs on four sides, all are 30 meter in height. There are 3 bronze statues of Tam The placed in temple, each of them is about 50 tons in weight.
“Gieng Ngoc” of Bai Dinh temple locates near the ground of Bai Dinh mountain. There is the legend about this place - where the zen master Nguyen Minh Khong took water from this well to create medicine for curing people and King Ly Than Tong. The well has a moon-shape face with a diameter of 30 m, the water depth is 6 m. Is is said that “Gieng Ngoc” never runs out of water.
Note that the best time for visiting Bai Dinh is from January to March (according to the Lunar Calendar) when the spring comes. Tourists can combine enjoying the spring weather while visit temple for praying in the new year. Bai Dinh pagoda is far about 15km from Ninh Binh province and 95km from Hanoi. Therefore, tourists can take a bus from Yen Nghia (Yên Nghĩa) or My Dinh (Mỹ Đình) bus station in Hanoi and travel southwest to Ninh Binh province and then catch a taxi or hire a motorbike to Bai Dinh pagoda.