The North of Vietnam is calculated to be the oldest regions in the set of three regions in Vietnam (the two others are the Central Vietnam and the South of Vietnam). The Vietnamese culture dates back to 2000 years ago is in the northern region where many ancient pagodas are preserved originally. The significant religious structures gain fame for their antiquity and original beauty. So, what are the most original pagodas that you should always see in the North of Vietnam? There are many but five stand out: Tay Phuong Pagoda, Mia Pagoda, But Thap Pagoda, Phat Tich Pagoda, and Keo Pagoda.
#1: Tay Phuong Pagoda, Hanoi
Situated in extended Hanoi Capital (Former Ha Tay Province), about 30km from Hanoi City Center, Tay Phuong Pagoda is the great historical masterpiece built in the 8th century. Throughout history, this momentous pagoda has been rebuilt several times. For example, it was renewed totally during the Tay Son regime (1794) with the three parts: the Hall of Prostration, the Main Shrine, and the Sanctuary. This model was taken as the present design. Here, you find the age-old trees and the ancient gate stating the title “Ancient Pagoda of the West”. People come to this original pagoda all can nurture their compassion and charity in the pure manner. So, Tay Phuong Pagoda is the historical, religious, and scenic site that attracts many visitors annually, especially the Tet holiday.
#2: Mia Pagoda, Duong Lam, Hanoi
Located in Duong Lam Village, Hanoi, Mia Pagoda has the original charm as the ideal religious and historical destination where people come to learn the ancient architecture and beliefs. This pagoda stores the largest number of the artistic Buddha statues in Vietnam (with 287 statues). Historically, Mia Pagoda was construction in 1632 from the empty temple to such the authentic religious spot. Going through several times of reconstruction, the pagoda today still preserves its original size and value completely!
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#3: But Thap Pagoda, Bac Ninh
But Thap Pagoda is the gem of Bac Ninh that showers the local people with the healthy spirituality. The Statue of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, crimson and gilded wood statue with thousands of eyes and hands inside the antique pagoda is biggest in Vietnam. It was ranked as the Vietnamese national relic. Though the first debut of the pagoda cannot be measured precisely, it’s believed that the pagoda came to light from the reign of Tran Thanh Thong (1258-1278). From then, many generations of the Buddhist chefs helps promote the fame of But Thap Pagoda.
That said, this pagoda’s original architecture is preserved in the fullest way. With the eminent historical, cultural, and artistic values, But Thap Pagoda was recognized as the Vietnam’s national relic in 1962.
#4: Phat Tich Pagoda, Bac Ninh
Phat Tich Pagoda is also called the Van Phuc Pagoda that is set on the southern slope of Phat Tich Mountain, Bac Ninh Province. This is the scenic pagoda whose architecture is dated back to the Ly Dynasty. Inside the pagoda, there stands the Vietnam’s largest stone Buddha statue of the Ly Dynasty. With the significant history, this pagoda was admitted to be the national historical and cultural relic in 1962.
#5: Keo Pagoda, Thai Binh
Keo Pagoda was commenced in 1601 under the Ly Dynasty and was peacefully nestled near the Red River, in Thai Binh Province. It looks traditional, classical and spectacular. It is one of the most ancient pagodas in Vietnam whose architecture is originally preserved in the complete way. Its architecture is said to be over 400 years old.