Ninh Binh temples and pagodas are perfect for those who want to delve in the historical and spiritual heritage of Vietnam. Exploring these sites allows travelers to step into the world of the Dinh and Early Le dynasties, promising an enriching experience. Read on to uncover the array of Ninh Binh temples and pagodas awaiting your visit.
1. Bai Dinh Pagoda in Ninh Binh, Vietnam
This pagoda is located at the western gateway of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, which is 15 kilometers away from Ninh Binh City and 95 kilometers away from Hanoi. Bai Dinh Pagoda Ninh Binh has earned numerous Asian and Vietnamese records, such as having the largest gilded bronze Buddha statue in Asia, the longest corridor of Arhat statues in Asia, the largest bronze Maitreya Buddha statue in Southeast Asia, and more. This pagoda is situated on a mountainside amidst vast lakes and rocky hills, its imposing architecture retaining strong traditional characteristics.
2. Am Tien Pagoda
Am Tien Pagoda, also located within Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, has a thousand years of history. This ancient pagoda is surrounded by majestic mountains and lush vegetation. The scenery around the pagoda is grand and carries a hint of mystique. The stone walls bear the marks of time, and the ancient architecture creates a sacred space that attracts visitors to explore and learn about its history.
3. Hoa Lu Temples
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital offers a range of historical sites for tourists to explore. Here, there are many Ninh Binh temples dedicated to the past kings and royals who governed this area over a millennium ago.
- Temple of King Dinh Tien Hoang: The Temple of King Dinh Tien Hoang, a unique Ninh Binh temple in the heart of the ancient capital, sits at the foot of Ma Yen Mountain. Comprising three halls, this temple honors King Dinh and his three sons from the esteemed Dinh Dynasty.
- Temple of King Le Dai Hanh: The Temple of King Le Dai Hanh is dedicated to the Early Le Dynasty. To get inside, you will go through a triple-arched gate that leads you to a garden. The main temple building houses an altar and an enormous drum in the front. In the rear, you can find depictions of King Le Dai Hanh, his wife, and son.
- Hoa Lu Tu Tran: Hoa Lu is renowned for a set of four revered temples dedicated to four guardian deities placed in all four directions. These include Quy Minh Temple in the south, Khong Lo Temple in the north, Thien Ton Temple in the east, and Cao Son Temple in the west.
Visiting these Ninh Binh temples, you can offer incense to honor the deities and immerse yourself in the spiritual customs of the local community.
4. Golden Pagoda – Among the most famous Ninh Binh temples
Golden Pagoda, one of the most well-known Ninh Binh temples, was built on the site of the ancient Bat Long Pagoda. It is located in the middle of Ca Voi Lake, covering a vast area of 28 hectares. All the structures in this Ninh Binh temple are primarily made of dark ebony wood, combined with traditional-style tiled roofs that feature beautifully crafted phoenix motifs. This design gives the temple an ancient and tranquil charm, which attracts a great number of tourists every year.
5. Nhat Tru Pagoda
Nhat Tru Pagoda in Ninh Binh is one of the most famous Vietnamese pagodas. Situated within Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, this pagoda showcases the Nguyen Dynasty’s architectural style. Its decorative motifs include intricate floral patterns, curved leaves, twisted vines, and lotus flowers. The pagoda’s curved roof is adorned with dragon-shaped tiles. The Buddhist Pillar in Nhat Tru Pagoda is recognized as a national relic, a unique highlight of the cultural heritage of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital.
6. Bich Dong Pagoda Ninh Binh
Bich Dong Pagoda is situated in a mountainous area within Ninh Hai commune, Ninh Binh province, boasting a nearly 600-year history. This pagoda complex is nestled against the limestone mountains of Ngu Nhac Son. In the foreground lies the Trang Thi rice field and a winding river that meanders through numerous valleys and mountains. Bich Dong Pagoda was constructed during the Later Le dynasty in 1428. Originally, it was named Bach Ngoc Thach Son, which literally meant Pure Stone Pagoda, amidst the deep mountains and forests.
7. Non Nuoc Pagoda – One of the most beautiful Ninh Binh temples & pagodas
Non Nuoc Pagoda in Ninh Binh, an ancient structure from the Ly Dynasty, is situated amidst breathtaking natural surroundings. It was a witness to the power transition between the Dinh and Early Le dynasties. Later, it played a crucial role as a strategic location during the fight against the French colonial regime. The most prominent structure here is the main hall adorned with a double-roof system, covered in eye-catching red tiles. The roof is designed in a traditional style, with the curved tail resembling a sharp sword reaching for the sky, and the peak adorned with delicate dragon and phoenix carvings.
8. Duyen Ninh Pagoda
Duyen Ninh Pagoda is an incredibly ancient temple in Ninh Binh Vietnam, constructed in the 10th century during the reign of King Dinh Tien Hoang. Due to its long-standing history as a place of worship, it is believed to bring luck to people, especially couples. To this day, this temple is considered the best place for seeking luck in love in Vietnam. Therefore, this Ninh Binh temple is also referred to as “Cau Duyen Pagoda”, which literally means “Love Pagoda”.
9. Thai Vi Temple Ninh Binh
Constructed during the 13th century, Thai Vi Temple stands out as a renowned historical attraction in Vietnam. It is distinguished as the place where King Tran Thai Tong retired and commenced his spiritual journey after years of leading the nation. The main temple has a lacquered board hanging high with golden Chinese characters. Following that are three central chambers with two rows of round stone columns intricately carved with dragon motifs. To the rear, there are five chambers with eight round stone columns that were intricately carved.
10. Dich Long Pagoda
Dich Long Pagoda, constructed in 1740, is a cave complex that comprises various significant structures. These include stone shrines, a temple dedicated to Ly Quoc Su, statues of Buddha and revered figures, a crescent-shaped lake, five towers, and Ha Pagoda. In addition to the man-made architectural structures here, there are also natural marvels such as caves, stalactites, and rocky formations, providing a surprisingly fascinating sight for every beholder who visits.
In addition to Ninh Binh, you can explore other captivating destinations in Vietnam, such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long, each offering a diverse range of experiences that allow you to discover Vietnam in its entirety. When planning your trip in Vietnam, you might want to consider staying at Vinpearl. Vinpearl is celebrated for stunning locations, exceptional services, and an extensive array of amenities that ensure your stay is truly exceptional.
Furthermore, if you want to immerse yourself in thrilling games and impeccable shows, VinWonders is a must-visit. This chain of entertainment complexes provides an immersive world of excitement for tourists of all ages.
Ninh Bình temples and pagodas are always among the top attractions that every traveler should visit if they want to explore the heritage of Vietnam. These temples not only offer insights into Ninh Binh’s history but also provide picturesque scenery and serene ambiance. Be sure to include them on your itinerary to fully immerse yourself in the essence of the country.