- Thầy Pagoda locates at the foot of Sài Sơn mountain, southwest of Hanoi. The pagoda is 20 kilometers far from the center of city, yet you can get there by motorbike in approximately 40 minutes. This a famous Buddhist pagoda is more than 8 centuries years old. The Pagoda is associated with Từ Đạo Hạnh 徐道行, a special Zen master of Vietnam who lived in Lý Dynasty. His reputation became a legend in memories of people of that land because of romantic anecdotes about his great magic and kindness. He had travel from lands to lands to help people without asking for return. Finally, when he is on the verge of death, Từ Đạo Hạnh went to Sài Sơn mountain (its colloquial name is Thầy mountain), and built a small pagoda named Hương Hải (it was changed into "Thầy" pagoda latter on). He died here in 1116, and accidentally in that year, King Lý Thần Tông was born. The myth that King Thần Tông was the afterlife of Từ Đạo Hạnh has been rumored from this event. However,Thầy Pagoda is not only attractive by these legends, but also charming for its ancient structures. Coming to this landscape, you will be stunned by the perfect harmony of the surrounding geography and Vietnamese traditional architecture. Visting Thầy pagoda, you will be enlightened by the beliefs of Vietnamese,people worship Buddha, God, Mother Goddess and Saint. Thầy pagoda is also famous for its mysterious limestone caves, the ancientest water puppet art of Vietnam, and enjoy a specialty of Thầy Pagoda : chè-lam cake. A trip with so much unforgettable moments, here we go :)
About the creator
The main temples of Thầy pagoda
The main temples have 3 temples : Top pagoda, Middle Pagoda and Bottom pagoda, they are interconnected by the roof systems in ancient dragon scale tiles.
These fine wood structures are believed to be the head of the dragon. The lake is in front of them named Long Chiểu or Long Trì lake (means the lake of dragon). The yard lies between the temples and the lake is believed to be the yaw of dragon. From this yard, you can walk to two small lands are located in the right and left side of Long Chiểu lake by two four-hundred years old bridges : Nhật Tiên (the sun's whip) and Nguyệt Tiên (the moon's whip), they are believed considered as the dragon's beards. In Thầy pagoda's halls we can see many poems carved on the walls to praise these elegant sceneries.
Thủy Đình on Long Chiểu lake, ancientest water puppet theater of Vietnam
Thủy Đình and the famous cotton tree.
Nhật Tiên bridge
Overview of Thầy Pagoda and Sài Sơn mountain
On Sài Sơn mountain
We can walk through Nguyệt-Tiên bridge to way up onto Sài Sơn mountain. The temple lies on the mountain named High Pagoda or Hiển Thụy pagoda. Behind the pagoda, is Thánh Hóa cave, which Từ Đạo Hạnh rested in 1116. On the cliff, there are many poems carved and written by famous poets lived in old times. On top of the cave is a a banyan tree, which roots drops down and covers the cave's door. On the other side there was a garden of peach trees but now, instead of peach, it is covered with bamboo trees.
Road to Thánh Hóa cave
We may also visit many limestone caves : Cắc-Cớ cave, where men and women meet and love each other ; Wind cave, where the wind always blows through ; Bò cave, which is believed to have the road to the beyond ; Heaven Market, which has rocks in very strange shapes, like chessboards, chairs, goblets... people say that they are owned by the fairies, who often come down from the sky to play Chinese chess.
Cắc Cớ cave
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