By Pham Thai in Ninh Binh
Thai Vi Temple built by Tran Thai Tong, king under the Tran dynasty, is highly favored by tourists in Ninh Binh Province thanks to its long history and magnificent entourage.
The temple was built by King Tran Thai Tong in 1258 after the first and glorious victory over the invading Chinese forces. Historical records state that the king, who was 41 years old, after the victory handed power over to his son and went to a small town located in today’s Ninh Hai commune, Ninh Binh Province.
He stopped at the small town at the foot of a mountain, viewing the Ngo Dong River and built a small temple in Van Lam cave. The temple worshipped Buddha and three saints. The king meditated daily and helped villagers build a prosperous life. The temple was featured during the second battle against Chinese invaders in 1285.
Though it is located one kilometer from the crowded and noisy station leading to the famous Three Cave, tourists will find a unique peace and mediation air in Thai Vi Temple. The temple lies against a small mountain, surrounded by nine bigger mountains and creating the most spectacular scene that can take your breath away. Local people have compared it to the image of nine dragons fighting for one pearl, and the pearl is where the temple located.
The temple has undergone much reconstruction and the latest was in 2006, carried out by a Buddhist living in Hanoi. It worships King Tran Thai Tong, his wife and son. Until now it has attracted thousands of tourists every month. The number of visitors doubles when local people organize the Thai Vi temple festival from March 14 to 17 from the lunar calendar.
The temple overlooks a large rice field
The temple leans against a small mountain
The colorful fl ag used in traditional festivals in Ninh Binh Province – Photos: Pham Thai