About Ban Long pagoda
Ban Long pagoda is both artificial and natural pagoda. It is located in Dai Tuong Mountain in Khe Dau Thuong village, Ninh Xuan commune, Hoa Lu district.
Dai Tuong mountain is a elephant-shaped mountain at the height of nearly 200m looking over Hoa Lu ancient capital. Ban Long is a pagoda which was built early in our country, in Dinh dynasty, more than 10 centuries.
As legendary, the local people have discovered this cave for a long time ago, found out the trace of the dragon so they built this pagoda. The stone plate of Dai Tuong mountain was carved in 16th century, in the Date of Nguyen Hoa: “From Hoa Lu ancient capital along the mountain toward the south to Khe Dau village, it is Ban Long pagoda. This is a beautiful landscape. Through Dinh, Le, Ly, Tran dynasties, the pagoda has been more and more famous”.
Ban Long pagoda did not buid Tam Quan (three main gates). Before entering the pagoda, the tourists have to go through a stone bridge which is made by big green stones. This is also the feature of all pagodas in Hoa Lu. It is called Ban Long Pagoda because the Lord Trinh Sam visited and wrote 3 big words “Ban Long Tu” on the cave. “Ban Long” means stone base the dragon sits on.
Another special thing is at the high cliffs in the middle of the cave, there is a stalactites like Buddha images riding white horses. Only Ban Long has this miracle, so every space of the cliff is the stalactites: shaped dragon, Buddha statues and other sacred animals which have cleverly sculptured. It is very impressive and charming to the tourists.
There is no Tam Quan gate (usually found in Vietnam pagodas) in Ban Long Pagoda. Visitors must pass over a sophisticated stone bridge to get in the pagoda. People call this relic Ban Long because of the stalactite shaped as a sitting dragon inside the cave. People believe thatif the dragon’s scales are sparkly, rain will come in the next several daysand the drought comes to an end. When visiting Ban Long Cave, tourist can also see an ancient Buddhistic statue which was made at the beginning days of the Pagoda. The stalactites shaped as dragon, Buddha or holy animal in the rock wall have made the relic impressive and attract visitors.
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