Over time and the ups and downs of history, stone handicraft villages in Ninh Binh have inherited the elite values. Up to now, generations of artisans and stone workers are continuing constantly creative to confirm the identity of the traditional village of the ancient capital.
The traditional villages
Ninh Van is located in the south of Ninh Binh Vietnam, surrounded by many limestone karsts in the area of Hoa Lu district. With that advantage, the Ninh Van people have developed the fine stone traditional handicraft to a new level.
Every year, Ninh Van handicraft village provides many kinds of handicraft products to the market in the country and abroad. Since then, it has brought about a happy and prosperous life for most of the families here, employment for thousands of workers in the province and outside the province.
Ninh Binh is a land of limestone karst so there are many traditional handicrafts with famous handicraft villages such as fine art stone making stone products which are not only beautiful but also cultural and contain high values of the people of Ninh Binh.
Visiting stone carving villages in Ninh Van, visitors who go with halong bay on land tour will relate to the stone carvings or the elaborate stone reliefs in the temple of King Dinh and King Le or Thai Vi temple. The ancient Xuan Vu villagers made considerable contributions to make the picture “Long Sang” (King’s Bed – in King Dinh Temple) clear but deep in the philosophy of human life. Particularly, in Thai Vi Temple there is stone sculpture beautiful as carved wood, showing talent and ingenuity of the ancient villagers.
For nearly half a century, Ninh Van stone carving has been growing. There are 1,600 households following stone carving, with more than 4,000 workers of all generations. Therefore, it is reasonable for people to call Ninh Van a “stone kingdom”. Besides the ancient stone works, the young talented villagers today has left many new and monumental marks, with the unique records.
The first record is the stone village gate. With the height and width of tens of meters, the gate of Ninh Van village was at the top of the list of the biggest and most beautiful gates built of stone in the country. The difference here is that the columns are built from monoliths overlapped. The pillars have the dragon pattern, creating harmony.
But perhaps the most impressive record is 500 different Buddha statues, each one is made of monolithic blocks weighing 5-6 tons, presented at Bai Dinh Pagoda. The Ninh Van villagers have surprised millions of domestic and international visitors of amazing ninh binh tour. The corridors have the number of statues of Buddha, of the sects of Buddhism, still eye-catching to anyone who came here. Many experts and tourists from China are attracted, not only because of the size of the statue (2.3 meters high) but also in the soul of the works. 500 different statue with 500 different pairs of eyes as well as the different mood of life is displayed on each face of the Buddha.
Visitors who have come with daily cycling tours in ninh binh here experience the relaxation, deposition in the soul and as you see yourself in each eye or the light smile of Buddha statues. Everyone admired Ninh Van handcraft of villagers. They are the artists who call stone souls in the spiritual world. Another new record besides the 500 Buddha statues, is a giant carved stone, weighing more than 10 tons, made of monolithic greenstone.