Thien Ton Cave Experience | Sacred and unspoiled beauty

Thien Ton pagoda and cave – one of the four most sacred temples in the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, has a history of thousands of years associated with the ancient Hoa Lu citadel, creating a typical cultural and religious space of the region. The land gives birth to a King, gives birth to a Saint, and gives birth to a God and is located in the cultural space of Hoa Lu four towns.

Where is Thien Ton Cave?

Thien Ton cave is located in Da Gia village, Ninh My commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh city. The cave is located at the foot of Elephant Mountain, near Thien Ton junction, about 1km from National Highway 1. This is one of the historical and spiritual relics of Hoa Lu ancient capital. Along with Cao Son god who is worshiped in the West, Quy Minh god guarding the South gate, Thien Ton god is the god guarding the eastern gate of Hoa Lu ancient capital. 

Explore Thien Ton Cave

Who is Thien Ton Cave worshiping? 

Thien Ton cave is the place to worship Thien Ton, this is the god in legend in Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu capital in the 10th century. People say that Dinh Bo Linh personally brought gifts to offer. at Thien Ton cave before sending troops to quell the rebellion of 12 armies. After that, when he became king, Dinh Tien Hoang De set up his capital in Hoa Lu and built Tien Te and Kinh Thien Dai houses to welcome foreign gods. 

Interesting discoveries about Thien Ton cave 

In Thien Ton cave , there are still many artifacts of cultural and historical value such as 18 arhat statues, incense altar system, stone altars and elaborately carved patterns. In particular, there is a rather large bell, with four knobs, emitting four different types of sounds. 

The archaeological site of Thien Ton cave was discovered in 1981. The remaining artifacts include floor tiles decorated with lotus flowers and phoenix birds. There are also pieces of the tower model, three pieces of water waves with unequal sizes and two small duck statues from the Ly Dynasty… Although it has been damaged quite a lot, it is still written about some architecture in the cave. quite clearly, through which a part of the culture of that time can be seen.

Thien Ton Cave is a famous spiritual, cultural and historical tourist destination of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital. Besides, the natural beauty inside as well as the scenery around the cave is also the reason why you cannot ignore this special tourist destination.

Thien Ton is the land of “tu Thuy Ky Son”, the terrain is harmonious with mountains and rivers, and the defense is solid, so the two kings Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh took this cave as an outpost, guarding the money for Hoa Lu citadel. and was the place to receive foreign emissaries before entering the capital.

Legend has it that before sending troops to quell the rebellion of 12 warlords, Dinh Bo Linh brought offerings to the cave to offer sacrifices to the gods to help defeat the other warlords.

In 968, Dinh Bo Linh put down 12 warlords and established the first independent centralized feudal state in our country. After ascending the throne, Dinh Bo Linh repaired the temple, painted statues, ordained him as “An Quoc Ton Than”, built Tien Te and Kinh Thien Dai houses to welcome foreign emissaries before taking the throne. put it in the king’s pedestal.

Later, when moving the capital to Dai La, King Ly Thai To still built many large-scale architectural works here. By the Tran and subsequent feudal dynasties, this area was paid attention to construction and embellishment.

In Thien Ton cave, there are still many worshiping artifacts of cultural and historical value such as 18 arhat statues, incense altar system, stone altars with the patterns of “two dragons adoring the moon”, bird images. phoenixes, flowers and leaves… are carved very elaborately and delicately. In particular, there is also a rather large bell, with four knobs, emitting four different types of sounds, dated Canh Hung (1740 – 1786).

Corridor of 18 arhat statues and bronze bells in Thien Ton cave.

Thien Ton pagoda and cave are also places associated with major events of the country. In the years 1930 – 1945, Thien Ton cave was the shelter of revolutionary soldiers in neighboring areas such as Nho Quan, Gia Vien, and Gia Khanh. Here, the army and people of Ninh Binh raised the flag, revolted to retake the government in Ninh Binh province from the Japanese fascists.

With unique cultural, historical, and spiritual values, in 1962, Thien Ton pagoda and cave relic complex was ranked as a national historical and spiritual relic.

Thien Ton Cave and Pagoda Festival is held on the 6th to 8th of the third lunar month every year.

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