Bich Dong Pagoda is a historical and cultural relic belonging to Trang An – Tam Coc – Bich Dong scenic complex of Ninh Binh province. This is an attractive spiritual tourist destination, bringing visitors to the majestic place of the Buddha’s door, the peace of the mountainous region.
Introducing Bich Dong Pagoda – Ninh Binh
Bich Dong Pagoda is located in Dam Khe village, Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province. And located about 103km from Hanoi city. Bich Dong Pagoda is also known by its beautiful name, “Bach Ngoc Thach Son Dong”. The meaning of this name is that the temple is as beautiful and pure as a pearl in the deep mountains of the same cup. Until 1773, during a trip. Lord Trinh Sam decided to change the name of the temple from Bach Ngoc Thach Son Dong to Bich Dong. Bich Dong Pagoda has been recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural and natural heritage. At the same time, Bich Dong Pagoda has also appeared in the list of special national monuments in Vietnam.
Bich Dong Pagoda tour itinerary – Ninh Binh will take you to visit an ancient architecture with a history of nearly 600 years. Bich Dong pagoda architecture includes 3 pagodas, 2 dry caves and 1 water cave. Besides, the pure beauty of Bich Dong Pagoda will also help you relax your soul!
History of the temple
In 1705, during the reign of King Le Du Tong, there were two monks named Tri Kien and Tri The. A native of Vong Doanh, another from Dong Xuyen, Nghia Hung district, Nam Dinh province met and became brothers. Both monks were devout, and together they went to many places to spread Buddhism and build temples.
When they came to Bich Dong mountain, they found that this is a place with beautiful terrain and a pagoda. The two monks decided to stop, donate and rebuild the old temple into 3 new temples: Lower Pagoda, Trung Pagoda and Upper Pagoda to practice.
In the year of Dinh Hoi (1707), two monks cast a large bell, which is still hanging in Dark Cave. Two years later, in the 8th lunar month, they made the inscription of Bich Dong pagoda in Chinese characters.
In the year of Giap Ngo (1774), Lord Trinh Sam came here for sightseeing. Perhaps impressed by the panoramic view of mountains, river caves, fields and trees, the pagoda seemed to converge on a green background, so Lord Trinh Sam named the pagoda Bich Dong.
Directions to Bich Dong Pagoda
Located in the tourist cluster of Tam Coc – Bich Dong. So you can combine exploring these two places at the same time. First, you will reach Tam Coc by waterway from Cac communal house in Van Lam village. After that, go down the boat along the Ngo Dong River to explore all of Tam Coc and you will arrive at Bich Dong Pagoda. The means that you can use to visit Bich Dong Pagoda – Ninh Binh are:
Taxi: this vehicle will be suitable if you are traveling in a large group. The advantage of traveling by taxi is that you only need to rest in a cool space. And the driver will take you to the right place you want.
Bicycle: you can rent a bicycle and move to Bich Dong Pagoda from Tam Coc. Immerse yourself in the cool atmosphere. Or admire the beautiful natural landscape. It will be the experience that you will enjoy when using a bicycle.
Motorbike: you will enjoy the cool breeze. And look at the majestic mountains on both sides of the road. The place to rent a motorbike can be your place of stay or business establishments in Ninh Binh.
Walking: is an experience that takes a bit of time, but is loved by many tourists. With the walking journey, you will be able to see the natural scenery at the closest distance. At the same time, stopping to take pictures and rest under the large trees is also very easy.
What’s so beautiful about Bich Dong Pagoda?
The way to the temple
Bich Dong Pagoda is an ancient architectural work like many other temples. The unique thing here is that the pagoda was built in the style of “Tam” (Han characters). There are 3 pagodas that are not adjacent to each other and are divided into three levels along the mountainside from low to high: Lower Pagoda, Trung Pagoda and Upper Pagoda.
Bich Dong Pagoda was built to integrate with the spectacular natural scenery. The image of the pagoda hidden among the rows of green giant trees makes this place more ancient and pure.
To enter the temple, you will follow a stone bridge made of green stones leading to Tam Quan gate of Bich Dong pagoda. There is a road at the foot of the mountain, paved with bricks about 55m long, the only way to go to Ha Pagoda.
Ha Pagoda was built with 5 compartments on a high platform at the foot of the mountain. The architecture of the pagoda is designed in the style of Dinh (Han Tu). The roof of the pagoda has 2 curved roofs, including 8 roofs. The columns in Ha De pagoda are made of one-piece, unassembled stone with a height of more than 4m. At that time, it was quite a feat to make stone pillars like this.
Entering the temple, at the top of the central nave of Tien Duong, there is a big picture in Chinese characters “Mao Co Than Thanh”. This sentence means that the appearance of this ancient temple is very sacred. In the upper hall is a place to worship Buddha. Next are the pedestals in order from high to low to place Buddha statues, worshiping objects such as lamps, incense peaks, etc.
After visiting Ha Pagoda, you return to the yard and turn to the North to meet a path of 80 stone steps around the mountainside. This is the road leading to halfway up the mountain, where Trung Pagoda is located. Unlike Ha Pagoda, Trung Pagoda has a semi-roofed exterior.
This is a unique temple, only the door and roof of the temple are exposed, the rest of the architecture is located in the mountain cave. The pagoda was built with three compartments to worship Buddha. On the roof of the pagoda, there are two Chinese characters “Bich Dong” which are placed at the order of Lord Trinh Sam. On the left side of Trung Pagoda is the space to worship the Holy Mother.
After worshiping Buddha at Thuong Dien, you walk up 21 more stone steps to reach Dark Cave. Above the cave door today still hangs a large bronze bell cast by two monks Tri Kien and Tri The in 1707.
Dark Cave is a long space and has electricity for visitors to easily admire. Inside the Dark Cave is a massive and monumental construction that magically appears under electric light. You will see images of fairies, dongsaengs, dragons, etc., which are carved and carved with meticulous and detailed stone. All appear in front of visitors like a petrified fairy world of nature.
Near the door of the cave on the right, there are three majestic and majestic stone Buddha statues, symbolizing the majesty and eternity. In the middle is Amitabha Buddha, on the right is Van Thu Bodhisattva, on the left is Quan Am Thi Kinh and a stone image of Lao Tho.
To get to Thuong Pagoda, you have to step nearly 40 more stone steps along the mountainside. Thuong Pagoda is a small pagoda on the mountainside, located at the highest position, near the top of Bich Dong mountain. The pagoda is about 60 meters higher than the underground brick courtyard. Thuong Pagoda was built in the Southeast direction and worships Ba Quan Am Buddha. There are two shrines on either side of the pagoda, namely Tho Dia and Duc Son Than. Next to the temple there is also a water tank called “Cam Lo water tank” of Quan Am Bodhisattva.
From the Thuong Pagoda, you can see 5 independent mountains that look like 5 lotus petals. That is Ngu Nhac Son, including Tam Sang mountain, Gia Dinh mountain, Con Lon mountain, Dau Cau mountain and Hang Based mountain.
Bich Dong Pagoda – Nam Thien De Nhi Dong in Ninh Binh is definitely a tourist destination worth visiting. Let’s combine visiting Bich Dong pagoda with other tourist attractions in Ninh Binh. Do not forget to prepare enough luggage for the trip to explore Bich Dong pagoda to have the most complete journey. According to Phuc’s self-sufficient travel experience in Ninh Binh, you should go to Bich Dong Pagoda on cool days. Because walking in hot weather will easily catch colds and fatigue.