A day at Thay Pagoda

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A day at Thay Pagoda


Thay Pagoda, one of the famous attractions in the vicinity of Hanoi, is also known as Thien Phuc Pagoda and is dedicated to the worship Sakyamuni Buddha and 18 Arhats. The pagoda is on the side of a mountain, surrounded by trees.

 

A temple in the middle of Long Chieu Lake, in front of Thay Pagoda. (Thoa Nguyen)
A temple in the middle of Long Chieu Lake, in front of Thay Pagoda. (Thoa Nguyen)

Built in the 11th century, during the reign of King Ly Nhan Tong, Thay Pagoda has three sections: the outer, for offerings and ceremonies, the middle, for worship of Buddha, and the inner, for worship of monk Tu Dao Hanh.

In front of the pagoda is Long Chieu Lake. In the middle of the lake is a floating temple that serves as a stage for water puppet shows.

In the large yard of the pagoda, there are two bridges, built in 1602.

At the pagoda, visitors can see representations of three incarnations of monk Tu Dao Hanh. A wooden statue is for the period when the monk led his life for Buddhism at Huong Hai Temple, where he found wild leaves to make medicine for residents and initiated water-puppet entertainment.

The second representation is a stone statue of the monk in a monk’s robe with a lotus flower on his head. The statue is on a stone lotus flower with a meticulously carved pattern.

The third  representation is a statue of the monk reincarnated as King Ly Nhan Tong, sitting on a throne, with a general’s hat.

From the bridge in front of the pagoda, visitors can trek up the mountain, where there are old pagodas, temples and mysterious caves.

Halfway up the mountain, visitors meet Cao Pagoda, where Tu Dao Hanh started his religious life. Behind the pagoda is Cac Co Cave, which is considered the place where more than 2, 000 soldiers died in wartime. At the entrance, cold air blows from the darkness in the deep cave, making visitors feel cool and shudder. The way into the cave is slippery, so visitors have to be careful. They should also bring a flashlight.

Further up the mountain, visitors meet Thuong Temple, noted for its architecture. Near the temple are many caves, such as But Moc, Bo or Gio, where visitors can find some stalactites and can be excited by sunbeams shimmering through the darkness.

A day at the pagoda will bring visitors relaxing moments, nostalgia through the antique and peace and still of the sanctuary, defeating all tiredness and tetchiness of daily life.
 
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