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Dau Pagoda, Bac Ninh- the Oldest Pagoda in Vietnam

As one of the oldest temples in Vietnam, Dau Pagoda is located in Thanh Khuong Commune, Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province. Not only does Dau pagoda offer a wealth of historical, architecture, sculpture value, but it also is the origin of Buddhism. This is one of the typical religious relics, attracts many domestic and international tourists to pilgrimage, to learn about the historical values.

Location

The front view of Dau pagoda, Thuan Thanh, Bac Ninh
About 30km from Hanoi, Dau pagoda is now in Thanh Khuong village, Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province. Tourists go along Highway 5, to Phu Thi, you turn to Highway 182 about 12 km to Dau pagoda. Coming here, we are certainly surprised at the lyrical, poetic land, at the quiet, peaceful countryside space, and hospitable people. Dau Pagoda is ancient, mossy, is hidden behind the foliages and the bushes creating in the hearts of people calm feeling, real but dreamlike with many myths of the ancient Dau region, Kinh Bac.

History

Dau Pagoda, also known as Dien Ung, Phap Van and Co Chau is located on the heart of one of the typical and richest the historical and cultural relics of Kinh Bac land. It is the capital of Giao Chi (Giao Chau), the center of politics, economy, culture, the oldest Buddhist center of our country, including the Luy Lau ancient citadel, Temple and Tomb of Sy Nhiep, a system temples, shrines, palaces, upper rooms, yards, pottery, busy street markets of Luy Lau metropolitan,... is evidence of a long period of tens of centuries before and after Christ .

The construction of the temple was started in 187 and completed in 226. The historical documents, the material remaining in the tank, especially the inscriptions "Cổ Châu Pháp vân Phật bản hạnh " dating back to 1752 and result of the researches about Vietnam Buddhist history of the historians asserted that "Dau pagoda is ancestry of Buddhism in Vietnam", was ranked the historic site by the state on 28th April, 1962.

In 1913, the temple was rebuilt and renovated several times in the next centuries. In Tran dynasty, King Tran Nhan Tong sent Scholar Mac Dinh Chi to redesign Dau pagoda so that it became "hundred compartments temple, nine-floor tower, nine- span bridge". Through the ups and downs of the history and being destroyed by the wars, but Dau pagoda with high brick tower, ancient and palatial worship spaces have been there.

The Bodhisattva Buddha statue in Dau pagoda
Dau pagoda festival (4th April in lunar calendar annually)

This festival is considered the oldest festival that has still existed to this day. History has it that the King often came here and took part in the festival, worship the Buddhists, prayed for rain, even Phap Van (Cloud Godness) statue worshipped in Dau pagoda was repeatedly taken to Thang Long capital to pray for rain. The festival is celebrated with solemn and formal ceremonies following the tradition to commemorate the day Godness Man Nuong gave birth to her daughter. The festival has many ritual activities and many, attractive folks attracting tourists, believers, monks, nuns, Buddhists from everywhere to worship and pilgrimage.

Godness Man Nuong worshipped in Dau pagoda

The most important meaning of Dau pagoda festival is to pray for good weather- the centuries- old desire of agricultural residents, a major Buddhist festival of the Northern plains and midlands. Over thousands of years, the "ritual" of the festival has been somewhat lost; however, we still feel the traditional beauty, traditional cultural values reflecting diverse religious life, creativity of the ancients, which have been preserved to this day.


Dau Pagoda, Bac Ninh- the Oldest Pagoda in Vietnam


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