Bai Dinh Pagoda
"We saw many temples and pagodas prior to our visit to Bai Dinah and thought it might be redundant. Not so! Though it is new, it is very interesting because it is largely a local scene. The temple complex is visited by Vietnamese families--we saw absolutely no foreign tourists. Plan on two hours to visit all the levels of temples. Of all the Buddahs we saw in temples in Southeast Asia, these were the most glorious. The scenery from the complex is extraordinary--you look out over the karst limestone mountains and a large lake. If you have the energy, you can climb to the top of the tallest pagoda in Vietnam. Don't Miss!"
The Bai Dinh Pagoda - number of Buddhist temples on the Bai Dinh Mountain about 15 kilometers from Ninh Binh. There is an original ancient temple and a newly created larger temple. It is considered the largest complex of Buddhist temples in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. It has become a popular site for Buddhist pilgrimages from across Vietnam. The original, ancient Bai Dinh pagoda located in the foothills in a quiet forest. Visitors feel likely to be in fairy land and they find peace. This ancient pagoda is 800 meters from the new temple.
You have to climb 300 stone steps to the top, before you reach the ornate gate. The temple itself is a series of small caves on the mountainside. Along here are worshiped other gods with Buddhist gods, such as the mountain gods.
The pagoda houses an ancestor-worshipping house in the centre. On the right side of the building is the "Bright cave" where they worship Buddha. In the small temple yhey worship the god Cao Son and in the other temple the Saint Nguyen. Directly adjacent is again a small cave, where they worship of the "Fairy".
On the other side of the mountain is the new Bai Dinh pagoda. The pagoda was built in 2003 and covers a large area. The new Bai Dinh pagoda has many parts, such as Tam The temple, Phap Chu Temple, Quan Am Temple (Temple Bodhisattva), Bao Thap, Bell Tower and dormitory area for Buddhist monks.
All materials are collected from local area and neighbouring provinces. To build the pagoda requires about five hundred craftsmen and many groups of workers from famous traditional craft villages such as Phu Loc where to do woodworking or Ninh From where does to stone carving in Y Yen they did to bronze casting etc.
The most important emphasizing point of these great religion works are Tam The Temple and Phap Chu Temple. Two temples cover a total area of 1,000 square meters . The height of Phap Chu Temple is up to 22m and it contains five partitions . In the centre of this temple is a bronze Buddha Sykamuni statue with 10 meters high and 100 tons heavy which is certificated as the biggest statue in Vietnam. This statue is casted by the pure bronze bought from Russian, casted and installed by the famous artisans of casting bronze statue in Y Yen.
Another special feature in Bai Dinh pagoda is “Great Bell” with the weight of 36 tons was casted and located in Bell Tower. In addition, there is 70 -ton bronze drum on the floor of the Tower.
What’s more, coming to Bai Dinh pagoda, visitors have a chance to see the biggest Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva statue in Bodhissattva Temple. This statue looks so marvellous with thousand hands and eyes to present the protection and universal salvation for common people.
At the right side of the Phap Chu Temple is a collection of 500 Arahat statues on the hill. The 500 Arhat statues have a height of 2.3 meters and are carved from stone and Ninh Binh have different positions and gestures, which create a magical space and lively atmosphere.
Without a doubt, Bai Dinh pagoda is masterpiece of both nature and men and it is the pride of Vietnamese people in terms of unique architecture, culture and historical value.
At the Bai Dinh tempel every year is held a large festival on the sixth day of the first lunar month. Then there are people from all over Vietnam. Buddhist rituals are performed at the New Temple in combination with the traditional rituals of the ancient temple.
From a travel blog:
"We were fortunate to visit Bai Dinh Pagoda on a quiet and peaceful day. I understand it can get pretty crowded. I was amazed that this place is so new! However, me and my family were glad we went. The architecture and artwork is simply lovely. If you go, be prepared for a good work out--there are plenty of steps and it will take a few hours to see everything. We combined this with a trip to Trang An Grottoes, and the two attractions made for a lovely day and a nice opportunity to get out of the crowds of Hanoi."