Bái Đính Temple (Vietnamese: Chùa Bái Đính) or Bái Đính Temple Spiritual and Cultural Complex is a complex of Buddhist temples on Bai Dinh Mountain in Gia Viễn District, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam. The compound consists of the original old temple and a newly created larger temple. It is considered the largest complex of Buddhist temples in Vietnam and has become a popular site for Buddhist pilgrimages from across Vietnam.
Bai Đính Temple, along with Phát Diệm Cathedral, Hoa Lư Ancient Capital Tam Cốc-Bích Động, Trang An, Cúc Phương is a famous tourist attraction site of Ninh Bình Province.
The New Bai Đính Temple (Bái Đính Tân Tự) encompasses an area of 700 hectares, located on Ba Rau hills, near the Hoang Long River. This is a large complex which includes many structures built over several phases starting in 2003 and finally completed in 2010. The temple’s architecture follows traditional lines, consisting of large halls, courtyards and enclosures, but the huge scale of Bai Dinh makes it strikingly different from previously built Vietnamese Buddhist pagodas. The largest structure, the Tam Thế Hall, rises to 34 m at its roof ridge and measuring over 59 m in length.The construction materials are locally quarried stone and timber from Ninh Bình, tiles from Bát Tràng… although reinforced concrete was also employed for the scale of construction. Despite this, the temple adheres to traditional Vietnamese designs with its curve finials and corner eaves soaring outward and upward, likened to the phoenix’s tail. Interior decorations were selected specifically for artisanal works from the local handicraft villages, among which are the bronze workers of Ý Yên, stone carvers of Ninh Van, wood carpentry of Phú Lộc, embroidery from Ninh Hải.
The original Bai Đính pagoda is located in the foothills some 800 meters from the new temple. Ascending a series of over 300 stone steps, the path passes under an ornamental gate to reach the entry. The temple itself is located in a series of small caves on the mountainside. Along with Buddhist deities, natural spirits of the mountains are also venerated.
Bai Đính temple hosts a large festival on the sixth day of the first lunar month drawing huge crowds. Buddhist rites are performed in the New Temple in conjunction with traditional rituals from the Old Temple.
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