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City & Culture

At the beginning of the year, go to Ba Den Pagoda

Translated by Bing
Ba Den Pagoda is a famous spiritual tourist destination in Tay Ninh province, located halfway up Ba Den mountain with a height of 986 m, the highest mountain in the Southeast region. This spiritual site is 8km from Tay Ninh city.

As a locality with a long border with Cambodia and Moc Bai international border gate, Tay Ninh province annually welcomes a large number of Cambodian people to do business and visit tourism. The complex of historical, cultural and scenic relics of the famous Ba Den Mountain of Tay Ninh province is one of the spots visited by many tourists.

Scattered from the foot of the mountain to the top of Ba Den mountain is a system of architectural complexes of religious works: temples, pagodas, shrines, towers ... reflecting the characteristics of Buddhist culture and folk beliefs. The cable car system has been operating since January 1, 2020, making it easy for guests to explore the panoramic view of Ba Black. 

Ba Pagoda (Linh Son Tien Thach Temple, also known as Buddha Pagoda, Thuong Pagoda) was formed in 1745 and built in 1763. The pagoda was originally just a small shrine and was built as it is today. The main deity worshipped on the mountain is Ba Black, also known as Lingshan Holy Mother. This is the oldest temple in Tay Ninh.

The main place of worship of the pagoda is a stone cave about 5 m2 wide, where the shrine of Ba Den, who was given the title "Linh Son Holy Mother" by King Gia Long. In the grotto there are statues and wardrobes of Mrs. Black offered by the people.

According to legend, when lord Nguyen Anh was pursued by the Tay Son army, he fled to Ba Den mountain to hide. The soldiers were hungry, Lord Nguyen Anh begged for help. That night, the Black Lady appeared in the lord's dream and showed the fruit on the mountain that could save the soldiers' starvation. In 1790, Nguyen Anh brought soldiers back to the mountain to cast statues and put up the shrine.

Next to the cave is the main hall, built in 1996. The front of the hall worships Xiao Yan, the upper floor is dedicated to the Maitreya Bodhisattva. Outside is the courtyard of the Bodhisattva Guanyin, pilgrims when visiting touch and wipe their faces on her robe for good luck.

The main hall is more than 200 m2, with many truss columns, the altar painted with gold lacquer. This place has a statue of Shakycoa Buddha 2.5 m high; on either side are statues of Bodhisattvas, Ten Eights of Arhat...

Ba Den Pagoda is a pilgrimage destination for many tourists when coming to Tay Ninh, especially on the occasion of Ba Den Mountain Spring Festival (held from the 4th of Lunar New Year every year) and Vía Ba Festival which takes place on the 4th, 5th, 6th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar.

Unlike the Cambodian pagoda system, which only worships the Buddha with outstanding yellow colors, the pagoda system in Vietnam, in addition to the Buddha, also worships the Bodhisattva Kannon and the Arhats.

Ba Den Mountain Tourist Area, Cao Dai Tay Ninh Holy See, Dau Tieng Lake, Special National Monuments of the Central Base of the Southern Department, Lo Go-Xa Mat National Park are attractive destinations, bearing bold characteristics of Tay Ninh tourism.

Image source: Multiple authors
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