Bai Dinh Pagoda is a spiritual landscape located in the complex of Bai Dinh – Trang An eco-tourism area with a history of more than 1000 years associated with the land of many feudal dynasties from Dinh, Tien Le to Ly dynasties.
- 1. Location
- 2. Best time to visit Bai Dinh Pagoda
- 3. Entrance fee
- 4. Overview
- 5. Internal Highlights
- 6. The records of Bai Dinh Pagoda
- 7. Somethings to note when going to Bai Dinh pagoda
- 8. Recommend trips to Bai Dinh pagoda
Bai Dinh Pagoda is a complex of pagodas located on Bai Dinh mountain in Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, 5km northwest of Hoa Lu ancient capital, 12km from Ninh Binh city. Bai Dinh Pagoda has an area of 539 hectares, including 27 hectares of the old Bai Dinh pagoda area, 80 hectares of the new Bai Dinh pagoda area. This place is honored to welcome thousands of Buddhist pilgrims every year.
2. Best time to visit Bai Dinh Pagoda
From January to March of the lunar calendar when the spring weather is warm is also the best time to go to Bai Dinh Trang An. You can combine spring sightseeing, pagoda ceremony to pray for good luck and participate in major festivals in both Trang An and Bai Dinh. However, this is also the peak festival tourist season, so visitors come here are very crowded, causing overcrowding and crowding. So if you don’t like to be crowded and noisy, you can also visit Bai Dinh Pagoda at other times of the year.
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3. Entrance fee
– Sightseeing entrance fee is free of charge
– But, the campus of Bai Dinh pagoda is very large. If you are limited in time, you can buy the Electric car for transfer from parking area to pagoda, ticket is 30,000VND/way.
4.1. General information:
Bai Dinh architecture is like a standard feature for ancient pagoda architecture in Vietnam, especially the temple area invited to build has massive works. The roof of the main temple is extremely beautiful, consisting of 3 floors and 12 curved roofs in the shape of a knife head, roofed with tiles in the shape of a traditional comedy nose. The step is decorated with stone dragons in the Ly Dynasty style, the large stone yard looks directly down to the jade well.
Around the long corridor of the Arhat statues that surrounds the temple grounds, there are also small gardens planted with green trees, the most planted tree by the temple is the Bodhi tree extracted from the temples in India. The space of Bai Dinh pagoda is extremely pure and airy, an ideal place for Buddhist monks and nuns to come to worship and practice.
4.2. Image Gallery
>> Click to see larger image.
(Photos: Tourist Department)
5. Internal Highlights
Coming to Bai Dinh Pagoda, you can prioritize visiting some highlights with many mysterious legends.
5.1. Light cave, dark cave
Passing 300 stone steps up to the three-way gate, before turning into the gate, look to the side of the slope, there is a fork leading to the light and dark caves. Bright cave is a place to worship God and Buddha, as the name suggests, there is enough natural light, right outside the door there are statues of two majestic gods with fierce faces, deep inside is a place to worship Buddha. The cave is about 25 m deep, 15 m wide, about 2 m high, going all the way to the end of the cave you will go to the sacred Cao Son temple.
The dark side of the cave is arranged with a lighting system to create a quite fanciful scene, above the stalactites formed by underground water. The steps of the path are vividly decorated with winding dragons. In the middle, there is a natural air-conditioning well, making visitors feel cool when entering the cave. Here, there are statues of mothers and fairies, many worshiping statues are placed deep in the rock nooks and have their own worshiping objects.
5.2. Temple of Saint Nguyen
Also from the fork at the top of the slope (towards the gate of the three gates), going in is to worship Saint Nguyen. The temple is an architectural item of the Bai Dinh pagoda complex built in the position of a mountain looking at the river. In the temple, there is a statue of Zen master Nguyen Minh Khong. Once he went to the mountain to find medicine for the king, he accidentally discovered a beautiful cave, so he built a temple to worship Buddha. He is not only a famous celebrity who dispenses medicine to help people, but he is also respected as the ancestor of bronze casting. For a long time, he worked hard to research and understand the origin of Dong Son civilization in ancient Vietnam, and collected antique bronzes for the purpose of restoring the lost traditional bronze casting.
To commemorate and record the merits of Zen master – famous physician Nguyen Minh Khong, people have carved statues on Bai Dinh pagoda. In addition, he is also worshiped in many places throughout Ninh Binh province.
The overall architecture of the temple follows the most pre-posterous style. The front part is designed in the style of Nhat (number first), while the rear part is designed in the style of Cong (attach), “Tien Nhat Hau Cong” – ancient Chinese character style – firmly creating traditional harmonious architecture. Inside, there are many vividly carved ancient architectural pieces, fresh flowers, strong dragons and unicorns.
5.3. Well of Jade
Here, it is said that Zen master Nguyen Minh Khong took a decoction of medicine to treat the king and the people. Around the stone railing forming a large circle, standing from the top of the main hall looking down at the Ngoc well stands out among the vast green covered campus, the jade green water color is the highlight in the overall Bai Dinh pagoda. This is also the largest pagoda well recorded in Vietnam.
6. The records of Bai Dinh Pagoda
With unique architecture and long history, Bai Dinh Pagoda has become a famous ecological and spiritual tourist destination in the North in general and Ninh Binh in particular. There have been 8 Vietnamese and Asian records recorded at Bai Dinh pagoda such as the largest bronze bell in Vietnam, the tallest and heaviest statue of Shakyamuni Buddha in Asia, the largest gilded bronze statue of the Three Worlds in Vietnam, the largest bronze statue of Maitreya Buddha in Southeast Asia, the temple with the largest Arhat corridor in Vietnam, the pagoda with the most Bodhi trees in Vietnam.
7. Somethings to note when going to Bai Dinh pagoda
You should bring comfortable sports shoes instead of high heels or doll shoes to protect your feet as well as make it easier to move because you will have to climb mountains and climb temples a lot. Should choose polite clothes when entering the temple, comfortable clothes should not wear tight, sweat-proof clothes.
At Bai Dinh Pagoda, there are many stalls selling souvenirs and attractive specialties. However, the price on the mountain is much higher than outside. Therefore, if you buy specialties as gifts, you should go down to the foot of the mountain to find a cheaper price.
In early spring, there is often a light drizzle, so you should bring a small folding umbrella as a backup
Remember to bring change when going to temples and donating. Avoid spending money on Buddha statues that detract from the beauty of the temple, but instead you should put it right in the merit boxes here.