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Bai Dinh Pagoda: The largest temple complex in Southeast Asia


Bai Dinh Pagoda has a pure and ancient beauty in the midst of a vast landscape of mountains and forests, featuring majestic architecture but bold traditional colors of national culture. Bai Dinh Pagoda is praised by the world as the largest temple complex in Southeast Asia.

The pagoda became famous after being built as a new temple so perhaps not many tourists really know and learn about its history.


Bai Dinh Pagoda is a famous spiritual and cultural tourist area located in the population that attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists to visit every year. This magnificent temple complex is located on Bai Dinh mountain in Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province and only about 12km from Ninh Binh city center, about 100km from Hanoi. 

To get here, you can choose from many different types of vehicles such as planes, trains, buses… For tourists from the North, especially Hanoi, it is very convenient to travel to Trang An Ninh Binh. However, if you are from the south, there are only 3 main means of transportation which are passenger cars, trains and airplanes.

Bai Dinh pagoda complex is located in an area including an ancient Bai Dinh pagoda area and a new Bai Dinh pagoda area built in 2003. The pagoda is located at the western gateway of Hoa Lu ancient capital like a fairy scene perched on the slopes of Bai Dinh mountain. Even while under construction, Bai Dinh pagoda in Ninh Binh has attracted the attention of many domestic and international tourists.

Bai Dinh overview
Bai Dinh pagoda overview – Source: Internet

The cultural and spiritual tourist area of ​​Ninh Binh pagoda for more than 1000 years, in Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh), was the temporary capital of the Dinh Dynasty while constructing the ancient capital of Hoa Lu and then played the role of importance as one of the “four walls” of the capital. Also here, there were three dynasties of King Dinh, Tien Le, and Ly successively born. These three feudal dynasties were very interested and focused on Buddhism and considered Buddhism as the national religion, so in Ninh Binh, there are many ancient temples, including Bai Dinh pagoda on Trang An scenic spot.

The ancient Bai Dinh pagoda was built in 1136 by Master Nguyen Minh Khong with beautiful and sacred scenes such as: Ngoc Well, Patriarch worshiping cave, Buddha worshiping cave, Mother worshiping cave, Cao Son altar… 

Over thousands of years of history, Bai Dinh Mountain is still standing there through many years of wind and dust, this place is associated with many anecdotes and legendary stories about a famous Master Nguyen Minh Khong. He was the first man to create the foundation of Buddhism, built Buddha statues and opened the Buddha land here.

From 2003, based on the foundation of the ancient temple, Xuan Truong construction enterprise has invested in restoring and expanding the pagoda with a total area of ​​more than 1000 hectares today. The typical architectural works of the new Bai Dinh pagoda today include: Tam Quan Gate, Bell Tower, Quan Am Temple, Taoist Temple, Tam The Palace, Bao Thap and Arhat Corridor… In addition, the pagoda There are still many big projects still under construction such as: Buddhist Cultural Park, Dam Thi Lake Area, Liberation Lake, Green Park… promising this will be a very meaningful attraction for believers loving to move in the near future.

Read more: Explore Mua Cave: Everything you should know

The legend of its name “Bai Dinh”

The meaning of the pagoda’s name originates from: Bai means worshiping, worshiping heaven and earth, Tien Buddha; Attach means top, is on high. Bai Dinh means worshiping heaven and earth, the Buddha is on the high mountain. The meaningful name is towards Dinh mountain, where heroic events in the history of the Vietnamese people took place.

Bai Dinh Mountain was founded by King Dinh Tien Hoang to sacrifice to heaven to pray for favorable weather and rain, and later continued to be chosen by King Quang Trung as a place to sacrifice flags to encourage soldiers before going to Thang Long to destroy the Qing army. More than 1,000 years have passed, the ancient temple is still standing there as a testament to the strong and enduring vitality of Buddhism in the spiritual life of the Southern people. Moreover, the ancient Bai Dinh pagoda is also one of the national historical and cultural relics in the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, valuable both in terms of spirituality and scenic beauty.

More information about Bai Dinh Pagoda

The speace of Bai Dinh pagoda
The speace of Bai Dinh pagoda – Source: Internet

Bai Dinh Pagoda has the largest area in Vietnam up to 1700 hectares, including 80 hectares of the new Bai Dinh pagoda area and 27 hectares of the ancient Bai Dinh pagoda area. The ancient Bai Dinh pagoda area is located 800m south of Tam The temple of the new Bai Dinh pagoda, was founded by Zen Master Ly Quoc Su Nguyen Minh Khong. 

According to legend, when Master Nguyen Minh Khong went to the mountains to find a cure for King Ly Than Tong, he discovered the beauty of the caves and decided to choose this place to build a temple, worship Buddha to build Bai Dinh pagoda. Located in the ancient Bai Dinh pagoda area, there are historical sites such as Sang Cave, Dark Cave, Saint Nguyen Temple, Cao Son God Temple, Ngoc Well…

The new Bai Dinh pagoda area is larger with many massive construction items such as Tam The Palace, Phap Chu Palace, Quan The Am Bodhisattva, Bao Thap… The materials to build up are from wood or natural green stone…

Bai Dinh – Trang An heritage area and Hanoi are 95km apart, Bai Dinh pagoda is located on sacred land in Sinh Duoc village, Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province, is a famous scenic spot – spiritual tourism, annually attracting a large number of tourists to visit.

Arhat Corridor at Bai Dinh Pagoda in Ninh Binh is the longest Arhat Corridor in Southeast Asia, including 2 rows starting from Tam Quan Noi Gate and running straight to Ta Vu and Huu Vu houses with a length of 1,700m. Here, there are 500 Arhat statues made of monolithic blue stone carved by famous artisans in Ninh Van and Hoa Lu stone villages. Each statue is on average 2.5m high, weighs 2-4 tons, is carved very elaborately, finely trimmed, the lines are very elegant, flexible and soft. The front pedestal of 500 Arhat statues is engraved with the name of each Venerable, in Vietnamese above, Chinese below and numbered for visitors to easily recognize and find out information.

Read more: Hoa Lu Ancient Capital: The remark of heroic nation

What do you need to prepare to bring when visiting Bai Dinh Pagoda

There are many tourists wondering what to prepare when going to Bai Dinh pagoda? Not only going to Bai Dinh pagoda, but also traveling or going to any temple ceremony, you also need to prepare the necessary tools. Depending on the location and time, you will have to bring the necessary tools and items. Let’s refer to the suggestions on what you need to prepare to bring when going to Bai Dinh pagoda:

Climbing shoes

In order for the tour to Bai Dinh – Trang An to go smoothly and without problems when moving, prepare comfortable sports shoes for climbing instead of wearing high heels or doll shoes for protection. Your feet are not swollen, bulging as well as convenient for comfortable movement.

Appropriate clothing

Bai Dinh Pagoda is a place of spiritual worship, so when you come to a dignified place, you should wear polite, discreet, comfortable clothes and should not wear tight or sweat-proof clothes. In addition, this place is located on high mountains, so the temperature is lower and the wind is stronger than the plain. Therefore, you should bring a thin jacket to wear to avoid catching a cold when the weather changes.

Money and identification documents

When traveling no matter where, you should not forget to bring money and identification documents because this is always a necessity when traveling. In addition, when going to the temple, you should prepare a change to go to the temple and donate to charity. At the temple, there are almost all merit boxes, so you should put them in to avoid leaving on the Buddha statues, which will lose their beauty and charm.

Other necessary items

In addition to the above important items, when traveling to Bai Dinh pagoda, you need to bring your phone, backup charger to avoid running out of battery while going out, snacks and drinks to bring along the way. Have the spirit of excitement to visit all the beautiful sights of the world heritage when you go.

What to pray for at Bai Dinh Pagoda?

largest tree
What to pray for when going to Bai Dinh pagoda is also an important thing that everyone cares about – Source: Internet

In addition to preparing the necessary items and buying the ceremony to go to Bai Dinh pagoda, what to pray for when going to Bai Dinh pagoda is also an important thing that everyone cares about. Also because of the sacred fame and also the center of the largest Buddhism in Vietnam today. So at the beginning of the new year, in addition to coming here to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the homeland, most tourists come here to pray – wishing for a new year with lots of fortune, peace, luck and health. healthy for the family. In order for the prayer to be successful, it is best to sincerely pray and offer incense to the Buddha.

Find out more Ninh Binh Tour here: NINH BINH TOURS FROM HANOI

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