Lying under the arc-shaped limestone mountain in the delta of Sai Son Commune, Quoc Oai District, Ha Noi is the Thay Pagoda, has situated there for a very long time. It has been a famous tourist attraction and a praying location.
According to Vietnamese custom, in order to have the blessing in the New Year, one must visit give thanks by paying a visit to the pagoda in the end of the old year. In the near Tet days, many temples and pagodas flooded with people come to deliver the ceremony.
20 km from the center of Hanoi on the Southwest is Thay Pagoda. You can reach the pagoda by traveling along highway Lang-Hoa Lac. It will take you half an hour to reach there. Alongside with the sacred and divine, this is also a beautiful location. A perfect place for praying and sightseeing.
Built in the reign of King Ly Nhan Tong, around one thousand years ago. According to a legend, the pagoda was built on dragon-shaped land, facing south. In front of the pagoda, on left is the top Dragon Head, back, on the right is Sai Son Mountain.
Located between Dragon Head and Sai Son is a large yard overlooking Long Chieu Lake or Long Tri (Dragon Castle) forming the dragon’s jaw. From the terrace there are two bridges: Nhat Tien Kieu and Nguyet Tien Kieu, served as the beard of the dragon.
The main part of the pagoda consists of three parallel temples: the Lower Temple, the Mid Temple and the High Temple. The Lower Temple functions as the statue temple. The temple stores statue of Duc Ong, or Thanh Hien (The Wise). The Mid and the Lower Temples are linked together. In the hallway links the Mid and the Lower Temple is the Vajrapani. The Mid exhibits the Buddhist altar, on two sides are the Earth Protectors statues.
Thay Pagoda also has Cac Co Cave, which kept the stories from thousand years before. The pagoda also has the bone pool. According to the custom, this place is where young men and women come to pray for marriage. There is an old saying: “Unmarried girls looking for Cac Co Cave, unmarried boys remebering the Thay Festival.” Photo: Xom Nhiep Anh