The sacred ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda is located in the heart of the mountain for more than 1,000 years

Ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda is a special temple of our country, when all Buddha and Mother altars are placed in the heart of the caves. This has contributed to deepening the sacred and mysterious atmosphere of this place of practice. Besides, the pagoda is also the place where many antiques with bold imprints of the Ly Dynasty are kept. So, friends, today let’s take a walk with Bike Plus around an ancient temple that has existed for more than 1000 years in the heart of the mountain.

Address: Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province

The ancient Bai Dinh pagoda belongs to a part of Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, peacefully located on Bai Dinh mountain, about 12km from the city center. The pagoda possesses a pure, ancient and impressive beauty amidst the majestic mountain scenery. This has contributed to exalting the beauty of the majestic architecture, imbued with traditional colors in the ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda. 

See more: Bai Dinh Pagoda – A peaceful place to practice in the middle of the mountains

If you intend to visit the ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda – the most special temple in our country when hidden in the heart of the cave, then you can choose a plane, train, passenger car or motorbike as a means of transport. both can move. For those of you departing to Ninh Binh from Hanoi, then you can also choose a bus to save some travel costs. As for you in the South or Central, then bus, train and plane are the most appropriate options.

Ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda is located at the western gateway of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and is perched on the slopes of Bai Dinh Mountain, surrounded by vast, lush valleys with rolling lagoons and lakes. even majestic limestone mountains. With charming scenery and great spiritual values, the pagoda has always been one of the attractions in Ninh Binh that is loved by many people.

Few people expect that this ancient temple has existed for more than 1000 years in the middle of the ancient capital, and is also a “historic witness” watching the ups and downs of all three great feudal dynasties in the past, including the imperial dynasty. Dinh, Tien Le and Ly dynasties. 

The pagoda was officially laid with the first stones in 1136, founded by Zen Master Nguyen Minh Khong. Therefore, this ancient temple is the place associated with anecdotes and old stories about the famous Zen master throughout the South sky in the past. It was he who laid the foundation for Buddhism, at the same time, built the Buddha statue and opened the Buddha land in this place. 

Legend has it that in the Ly dynasty, he went to Bai Dinh mountain with the intention of finding medicine for the king’s illness. When he passed this mountain, he realized that this was a fairyland, the mountain could be facing the west as if he was adoring the land of Buddha. In addition, along the mountains and forests in this place, there are also countless precious medicinal plants, so the Zen master decided to stop practicing and build a temple here.

The reason the pagoda is named Bai Dinh is because, according to the ancient concept, Bai means worshiping, worshiping the land of the time, the Buddha. Meanwhile, Dinh is the top, which is located on a high place. Therefore, Bai Dinh dog means worshiping heaven and earth, and the Buddha is on high. In addition, the pagoda’s name also means towards Dinh mountain – a mountain associated with heroic events of our country’s history in the previous period. 

Around the time Dinh Tien Hoang stood up to put down 12 warlords and ascended the throne, he went to the place where the ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda was located to set up an altar to sacrifice to heaven, pray for favorable rain, peace, and worship. soldier. Later, King Quang Trung also chose this sacred mountain as a place to set up a chess altar, to encourage generals and soldiers before conducting a quick march to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, destroying the Qing army. 

Later, when visiting the pagoda, King Le Thanh Tong carved a poem in Chinese praising the beauty of this place. In the poem, there is a sentence implying that:

“The reputation of the peak is so high

Protecting the ancient citadel

Human resource genius should be prosperous

The sacred mountains are beautiful and stable.”

The pagoda owns an area of ​​27ha, located about 800m south of Tam The palace of the new temple. In the temple grounds today, there are still historical relics such as Sang Cave, Dark Cave, Saint Nguyen Temple, Cao Son God Temple, Ngoc Well, etc. Today, the overall architecture of the ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda is still there. However, despite the passing of time, although this land has witnessed many ups and downs of the country’s history, the ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda still stands majestically despite the wind and dust. 

The entrance of Sang cave seen from the outside with a vast valley in front

In Dark cave, there is a jade well formed by cold water falling from the ceiling of the cave. 

To visit the cave in Bai Dinh mountain, you have to step on 300 stone steps, through the three-way gate in the middle of the mountain. Uphill is the junction: on the right is the light cave worshiping Buddha and God, on the left is the dark cave worshiping Mother and Fairy.

Going all the way to the Sang cave will lead to a valley with lush green trees, go all the stone steps to appear the temple of God Cao Son. The temple was built with its back to the mountain, the place to worship the god who ruled the Vu Lam mountain region in the south of the ancient capital of Hoa Lu.

Legend has it that Cao Son Dai Vuong was Lac general Vu Lam, the 17th son of King Lac Long Quan. God Cao Son, together with God Thien Ton and God Quy Minh, are the three gods who reside at the three gateways to the west, east and south of the ancient capital of Hoa Lu.

The mountainous area around the ancient Bai Dinh pagoda has taken place many heroic events in the history of Vietnam. This is the place where Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang De set up an altar to pray for good weather and rain, and later continued to be chosen by King Quang Trung to perform a flag sacrifice ceremony to encourage soldiers before going to Thang Long to destroy the Qing army.

During the resistance war against France – Japan, this mountain area belonged to Quynh Luu war zone, an important revolutionary base in the North. In 1997, the ancient Bai Dinh pagoda was recognized as a national historical – cultural – revolutionary relic. Different from the majesty and magnificence of the new Bai Dinh pagoda area, the old Bai Dinh pagoda is quiet, quiet and sacred.

Although time has passed, the ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda is still peacefully located in the heart of the mountain cave, watching the ups and downs of the nation. Friends, in the journey to discover Ninh Binh , if you have time, you must visit this sacred ancient temple once.

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