Tam Chuc Pagoda is one of the most renowned Buddhist religious sites in Vietnam. The awe-inspiring pagoda stands in the middle of a splendid scenery of the lake, limestone mountains, and unspoiled forests, creating an idyllic atmosphere for visitors.
The Tam Chuc pagoda complex is built in an area of 5,000 hectares and is located about 20 km from Phu Ly City in Ha Nam Province, which is about 60 km from Hanoi and can be reached by land within 1.5 hours.
The ancient Tam Chuc Pagoda was built during the reign of the Dinh Dynasty dating back a thousand years ago. The new pagoda is being built on the foundation of the former pagoda and enchants the eyes of visitors with its great combination of impressive architecture and spectacular landscapes.
In 2019, the Pagoda was chosen as the venue to host the United Nations Day of Vesak celebration. The event was held in May and was attended by thousands of spiritual dignitaries, Buddhist followers, and international researchers.
Tam Chuc Pagoda possesses spectacular views with the complex overlooking a refined lake on the front and sublime mountains on its background. It is told that the 7 mountains behind the pagoda were the seven fairies from heaven. The fairies wandered the earth and were amazed by the beauty of the Tam Chuc mountain. The scenery was extremely beautiful that they forgot to return to heaven. Then, God of Heaven rang 6 bells to call them to return home, but it was all in vain. Hence, you may recognize the 6 islets in front of the Tam Chuc Pagoda symbolize the six bells.
One of the main features of the complex is Tam The Temple. There are three colossal black bronze Buddha statues placed in the temple. The three Buddha statues symbolize the past, present, and future. Each of these statues weighs about 80 tons and is decorated with a gold plated lotus leaf at its back. Tam The Temple consists of a floor area of 5,400 square meters that can accommodate up to 1,500 people.
In Tam Chuc pagoda, you may also see 12,000 paintings of Buddha’s life stories carved on volcanic stones by Indonesian artists.
Another captivating architecture in the Tam Chuc Pagoda Complex is the Ngoc or Pearl Pagoda. The Ngoc Pagoda is a 3-storey pagoda built on top of the That Tinh Mountain, 468 meters above sea level. This 13-meter-high Pearl Pagoda captivates visitors with its seamless red granite structure. Inside the pagoda solemnly stands a ruby statue of the Amitabha Buddha weighing 4,000 kg. All the ruby used to make the statue was imported from Myanmar.
Moreover, you may find Buddhist scriptures carved on 99 stone pillars in the garden inside the complex. Each pillar weighs about 200 tons and is 13.5 meters in height.
Tam Chuc Pagoda Tourist Area
The tourist area is continuously being developed. The whole tourist area is incorporated into 6 areas which are the reception centre, Tam Chuc Pagoda Complex, Quen Vong Natural Preservation area, Tam Chuc Lake, Tam Chuc Community Tourism Resort, Kim Bang golf area and a tourist service centre in Ba Sao town. The entire development of the tourist area is scheduled to be completed in 2048.
As part of the effort to protect the environment, Tam Chuc Pagoda Complex provides electric car service available for visitors who wish to explore the complex. There are also some interesting activities in the area for visitors such as kayaking and boat experience at Tam Chuc Wharf.
Tam Chuc Pagoda is one of the destinations in the 100-kilometer Heritage Trail in Northern Vietnam. The trail encompasses Trang An Landscape Complex, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Bai Dinh Pagoda, Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve, Huong Pagoda, and Thang Long Imperial Citadel in the centre of Hanoi.