Ninh Binh is not only famous for its beautiful scenery and charming nature, but also the festival culture in the province is quite attractive to visitors – typical of the festival of Dich Long Pagoda.
In Ninh Binh tourist attractions, Dich Long Pagoda is often referred to as a distinctive mark of the pagoda and spiritual architecture. Dich Long Pagoda is located in the middle of Diem Luong Mountain, at an altitude of about 80m from the foot of the mountain, in Gia Thanh Commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Vietnam. If you depart from Hanoi, follow the National Highway 1A to the south, you will pass the Doan Vi bridge, also known as Khuat Bridge, and turn right about 1 km to reach this pagoda.
This pagoda (national historical-cultural vestige of Gia Thanh commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province today, near National Highway 1A) is so beautiful that King Minh Mang bestowed appellation “Nam Thien De Tam Dong” (The Third Beautiful Cave in Vietnam), It is said that around 1739, a woodcutter discovered this cave, found the cave had a stalactite in the shape of a statue of the Buddha and set up a Buddhist shrine there. In 1740, the temple was built. People here often call it Dich Long Pagoda, but it is a system including the Stone temple, Ly Quoc Su Pagoda, semicircle lake, five three-storeyed towers, Three-compartment lower pagoda whose the middle room has a cuon thu with Chinese characters “Luu Ly Bao Dien” showing the precious of the temple.
In term of the architecture, the temple is built in the architecture of the word “Tam” (三) in an area of about 1 hectare. There is a temple with five compartments which is called Stone Temple. This temple is placed to worship Nguyen Minh Khong. the architecture has eight columns built by bluestone monoliths over 4m high. The columns are carved with many beautiful details such as Chinese Dragon spraying water, or the carp pass the waterfall. The dragon which is carved on the stone is so lively that visitors will feel they are admiring a real scene. The couplet is written in the Chinese characters, bringing ancient and scared colors to the temple. This is a unique temple in Vietnam because there are few temples which are built by bluestone monoliths as this temple.
Entering the pagoda, you will feel the warmth and peace of the two huge statues of Drama Protectors opposite each other in the gate of the temple. Besides that, you will admire the beautiful bell which is a meter high and about one tonne cast in Nguyen period.
Dich Long Pagoda turned south. In front of the pagoda, there are many stone blocks in many shapes such as elephants, tigers, and lions protecting the peace and the sacred beauty. The beauty of the pagoda is also thanks to the glittering stones and stalactites that hang down like hanging bells bringing the feeling of pure. In the temple, there are many majestic Buddha statues showing the gentle and merciful beauty. Here, visitors on Ninh Binh daily tours can come to the pagoda to look for peace in the soul.
Visiting the temple on the occasion of New Year, visitors also have the opportunity to attend the crowded pagoda festival. Every year, the Dich Long Pagoda festival is celebrated from the 6th to the 10th of the first lunar month, lasting the end of the third lunar month. Visitors on Ninh Binh amazing tour to this place will enjoy traditional folk games such as lion dancing, writing Calligraphy and playing chess, etc.