December 16, 2019

Phat Tich Pagoda: Vietnam’s Cultural Giant

On my last month in Vietnam, I was invited by the Relic Management Board of the Province of Bac Ninh to do a special project to help promote some of their amazing cultural and historical places of interest. During the completion of the project, I was able to travel to different communes within the province and explore some of their most prized wonders. One such gem was the Phat Tich Pagoda in the Tien Du District.

The Phat Tich Pagoda was built between the 7th and 10th centuries. Housing some of the country’s most important historical and cultural artifacts, the pagoda is considered a national cultural and historical treasure. Aside from being the training ground for Buddhist monks, the pagoda was also where the kings of the Ly Dynasty often prayed and held their Buddhist ceremonies.

In 2007, a 3,000 ton, 27-meter high stone statue of Amitabha Buddha was built behind the pagoda. Considered one of the largest stone statues in Southeast Asia and the first of its kind in Vietnam, the statue sits on top of the Mount of Buddha which is considered the birthplace of Buddhism in Vietnam.





Getting to the giant Buddha, however, is no easy feat. You would have to walk up at least a hundred steps to get to the top of the Mount of Buddha. In this photo, you can see my guide Kim in her traditional Áo dài.


 

On our way to the statue, we walked past the pagoda garden which housed several multi-level stone pagodas.


 

A stone carving sits on the ground near one of the stone pagodas in the garden.


 

Finally, we came upon a very tall multi-level pagoda at the food of the Mount of Buddha.


 

Several meters later, we were finally at the foot of the giant Buddha.


 

Here is a panoramic view of the giant Buddha together with the stone throne and the praying platform below it.


 

The Mount of Buddha is surrounded by rich open fields and farm lands.


 

The candle holders on the concrete barriers are shaped like the lotus flower – Vietnam’s national flower.


 

The backside of the stone statue shows the intricate details on the Buddha’s body which took several skilled workers to complete.


 

The multi-level pagoda at the foot of the mountain looks very pretty from this angle.


 

Below the statue, several shops rent out traditional Vietnamese and Korean costumes for tourists. A lot of tourists come here for pictorials wearing traditional clothes.






 

One final pose before calling it a day. 😀

LEY

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