Bai Dinh Pagoda is the Largest Buddhist Complex in Vietnam and one of the most visited destinations in Ninh Binh Province. It is located on Bai Dinh Mountain in Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh province, about 95 kilometers from Hanoi. In addition to its religious significance, Bai Dinh Pagoda is well-known for its astonishing architecture and surrounding natural beauty.
As the largest Buddhist complex in Vietnam, Bai Dinh Pagoda attracts a massive number of Buddhist pilgrimages and tourists every year. Visitors from all over the country and overseas visit the pagoda to pray for health and luck.
Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex covers an area of 539 hectares, including the new pagoda area that was built in 2003.
Bai Dinh Pagoda in Ninh Binh
A solemn spiritual journey is not the sole reason people come to Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex. During your visit to this largest Buddhist pagoda complex, you may also witness the grandeur architecture. These are some of the most riveting things you will find in Bai Dinh pagoda complex:
The Bell Tower
When you enter the Buddhist pagoda complex, you will find a 3-storey octagonal bell tower that hangs Vietnam’s currently largest bronze bell. The bell weighs 36 tons and is 5.5 m in height with a diameter of 3.45 m. Just below the bell is a bronze drum that weighs 70 tons and is 4.7 m in height. Go up to the top storey of the Bell Tower to grasp the peaceful atmosphere of the sacred complex.
500 Arhat Statues
There are 500 sacred Arhat statues made of monolithic bluestone along the 3-km-long corridor in Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex. The Arhat statues in different postures were carefully handcrafted by local artists. Each statue is about 2 meters tall and weighs about 4 tons.
The Largest Bronze Buddha Statue in Vietnam
Inside one of the temples in the complex, you may find an enormous bronze statue of Gautama Buddha. This is one of the main places to visit in the Bai Dinh Pagoda in Ninh Binh, where people come to worship the Gautama Buddha. The statue is 10 meters in height, placed in a 1.5-meter-high pedestal, and weighs around 100 tons.
The 13-storey Stupa
Go further into the complex and you will arrive at a 13-storey Stupa. It is one of the most iconic buildings in the complex. It holds a record as the highest Stupa in Southeast Asia and preserves relics of Buddhas from India and Myanmar.
The Bronze Statue of Maitreya Buddha
As you continue your journey up to the hill inside the complex, you will see a magnificent Maitreya Buddha statue. From this place, you may enjoy the panoramic views of the Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex, the largest Buddhist pagoda complex in Vietnam.
Tourist Attractions Around Bai Dinh Pagoda
Ninh Binh Province is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam and there are places you might not want to miss after visiting Bai Dinh Pagoda. Here is a list of places to visit around Bai Dinh Pagoda:
1. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
The Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex is situated around 5 km from Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and 95 km from Hanoi, the current capital city of Vietnam. It takes around 1 to 2.5 hours from Hanoi to Ninh Binh by train or by car.
Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex is a UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage site. The complex is the only heritage site in Vietnam that has received such dual designation by UNESCO for its natural and cultural values.
3. Tam Coc – Bich Dong
Take a boat in Van Lam village to explore the karst landscape and caves, or go on a bike ride to enjoy the tranquil rural scenery.
4. Tam Chuc Pagoda, also known as Tam Chuc Spiritual Tourism Complex
About 30 km from the Bai Dinh Pagoda, the Tam Chuc Spiritual Tourism Complex is part of a 100-kilometer heritage trail in northern Vietnam, which encompasses the Trang An complex, the Hoa Lu ancient capital, the Bai Dinh pagoda complex, the Van Long wetlands reserve, Huong Pagoda, and the Thang Long imperial citadel in the heart of Hanoi.