Top 8 Ninh Binh Temples & Pagodas to Visit 2023
Ninh Binh is an amazing land that possesses magnificent natural scenery with mountains and a thrilling history of Hoa Lu ancient capital has made this place an incredible place to visit. Not only the landscape made this destination a popular place but also the spiritual attractions of pagodas and temples in Ninh Binh are also attracting a lot of tourists. Read along to see top sites to visit.
Ninh Binh is home to charming scenery and many religious sites which are popular with both domestic and foreign travelers. This list of temples and pagodas in Ninh Binh is perfect if you want to put them into your travel itinerary.
1. Bai Dinh Pagoda
Located in Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh province, Bai Dinh pagoda is considered to be the biggest pagoda in Ninh Binh and one of the largest cultural sites in Vietnam with an area of 539 hectares. The old Bai Dinh pagoda was built in 1136 and it was reconstructed and built up in 2003
It’s also the most popular pagoda for Buddhist pilgrimages that holds many records such as the biggest golden-copper Buddha statue in Asia, the longest lobby of Arahants, the biggest copper bell in Vietnam, and the highest Buddhist tower in Asia, etc. And also there is much more to see, come visit Bai Dinh Pagoda, you will be amazed by its massive complex which consists of several temples and pagodas.
Bai Dinh Pagoda
2. Hoa Lu Temple
Hoa Lu is the first ancient capital of Vietnam when it first gained its independence from China and Hoa Lu Temple is a historical site that was built as worship for Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang and Emperor Le Dai Hanh, who ruled the country in the 10th - 11th century. Besides, It has the four sacred temples of Hoa Lu (Hoa Lu Tu Tran) to worship the Gods in four directions: Quy Minh temple, Thien Ton temple, Cao Son temple, and Nguyen temple.
Hoa Lu ancient capital thrived during the Dinh and following Le dynasties until the founder of the Ly dynasty, Ly Cong Uan, transferred the capital to what is now Hanoi in 1010. Hoa Lu was thus abandoned and succumbed to natural deterioration, leaving few pieces to be unearthed by archaeologists. There are very few authentic remains of Hoa Lu; the citadel was rebuilt in the 17th century, modeled after the original temples and courtyards.
It’s located in Truong Yen commune, Hoa Lu district, tucked in the limestone mountains and rice fields, the temple is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ninh Binh.
Hoa Lu Temple
3. Bich Dong pagoda
Bich Dong Pagoda is a three-layer pagoda nestled in the mountain, residing 3km away from Tam Coc and a couple of kilometers to the west of Ninh Hai Village. This temple in Ninh Binh province seems small at first glance yet it has many to admire. The ornate gate is one of the most iconic and picturesque sights. A stone bridge spans a large lotus pond, which explodes with bright pink blossoms in the summer.
Bich Dong Pagoda consists of three separate layered pagodas: Ha, Trung, and Thuong (Lower, Middle, and Upper Pagoda). Inside each cave temple are looming statues peering from the haze of burning incense. Ha pagoda is located at the base and it will be the first one you see. This one is where they have the Buddha shrine and from here walking up to 120 steps is the impressive Trung Pagoda with half of it inside the cave including three compartments. Then up to 40 steps is the Upper Pagoda located on the highest point nearby the top of Bich Dong Pagoda. In order to get to this pagoda, you have to go through the Dark Cave. From here you can view the wonderful countryside scenery and it is absolutely worth all the steps.
Bich Dong Pagoda's main gate
4. Thai Vi Temple
Situated in Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourism area, Thai Vi Temple in Ninh Binh is a pure gem surrounded by limestone rocks. People say that King Tran Thai Tong left everything for his son after defeating the Chinese invaders. He came to this place and was captivated by the beauty of Ngo Dong, he built a small temple at the foothill in Van Lam Cave. The temple is used to worship the deity of Buddha and three saints.
The temple was used by the king for meditation purposes through which he helped the local people to have a prosperous life. Today, the temple worships King Tran Thai Tong, his wife, and his son.
Thai Vi Temple annual festival
The architectural appeal is quite impactful as the temple is built out of stone carvings and the steeple from the ironwood. One of the worth-noticing things is the use of monolithic greenstone for the construction of atlas, incense, and other worshipping items.
Thai Vi Temple Festival is the biggest festival of Ninh Hai Village, which is held annually on March 14th according to the lunar calendar. It is an occasion when people throughout the country gather to commemorate the contributions and merits of Tran Kings such as their great contribution to the country and local people. Though Thai Vi temple is not the main tourist attraction when travelers visit this region it is one of the most sacred temples in Ninh Binh.
5. Dich Long Pagoda
Dich Long Pagoda is a natural and cultural site in Ninh Binh province, located in Gia Thanh commune, Gia Vien District. It is a complex of pagoda and caves, tucked away on the majestic limestone mountains. The site consists of a series of temples and communal houses, some of which have an architecture that dates back hundreds of years. To get to the pagoda, you have to climb 105 steps where there are three caves containing countless impressive stalactites and other types of mineral rock formations. The first cave is the place to worship Buddha, the Dark Cave ( Hang Tối), and the Light Cave (Hang Sáng).
Inside Dich Long Pagoda
6. Duyen Ninh Pagoda
Duyen Ninh Pagoda is situated in Chi Phong Village, Truong Yen commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province. It’s located right on the tourist route of Trang An – Bai Dinh – Am Tien Temple, in the well-preserved area of Hoa Lu ancient capital. The pagoda is an ancient spiritual site, built in the 10th century under the King Dinh Tien Hoang monarchy.
Legend says that the Duyen Ninh pagoda is a place where princesses of Dinh and Le dynasty often went to visit. Here, Princess Le Thi Phat Ngan and General Ly Cong Uan swore an oath to love there and gave birth to Ly Phat Ma (later King Ly Thai Tong). Later, Khai Quoc Vuong changed the name of the pagoda to what it is called today.
People come to Duyen Ninh Pagoda to ask for lucks in their love life
During the last time of her life, Empress Phat Ngan came here to lead to religious life and look after the tomb of her father, Emperor Le Dai Hanh, and while staying here, the Empress has connected many couples into marriage and since then Duyen Ninh pagoda became a highly believed site attracting a lot of single people to come and pray for love.
7. Am Tien Temple
Am Tien Temple is located in Am Tien Cave, in Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province, and is situated in the middle of a beautiful valley. Enclosed by rocky mountains, with calm forest and a clear jade water lake in the middle.
Queen Duong Van Nga chose the pagoda as a place to practice Buddhism after she had helped the Dinh and Le Kings fight against Chinese invaders and spent the last years of her life. Besides worshipping Buddha, the pagoda also worships Queen Duong Van Nga and highly important people who served the royalty during the Dinh Dynasty. Nearly separate from the outside world, this temple with an enchanting beauty mesmerizes every traveler from all over the world.
8. Non Nuoc Pagoda
Non Nuoc Pagoda in Ninh Binh is an ancient temple, recognized as a national historical and cultural relic as well as one of the main tourist sites in this region. Located right at the foot of Non Nuoc Mountain and by the bank of Day River, the pagoda is surrounded by the beautiful landscape; creating a serene, tranquil scene of the village for visitors.
Non Nuoc Pagoda
Hopefully, this article will give you some useful information on visiting the historical places, temples, and pagodas in Ninh Binh. Visit BestPrice to explore more about this region as well as Vietnam and if you are planning to visit this majestic land, why not sign up for Ninh Binh tours. Our experienced guides will accompany you on the trip and tell you more details about what you are going to see.
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