Dich Long Cave

Dich Long CaveThe complex of pagoda and cave of Dich Long is located in Gia Thanh commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province. According to the legend, this complex is in the neglected mountainous area, which was discovered by a woodman in 1739.

The complex of pagoda and cave of Dich Long includes pagodas on the grandiose mountainous area of Gia Vien district. Entering the pagoda yard, visitors will be surprised for series of pagodas and communal houses with special architecture, which has been kept for thousands of years. There is the temple of Ly Quoc Su (Buddhist priest and medicine man in Tran dynasty), semicircular pond, five three-floor towers and three lower apartments. There is especially a statue of Tam The Phat (Buddha of past, present and future) which are gold inlaid and gifted by Thieu Tri king. Otherwise, there are also the statues of Avalokiteśvara and Amitābha which are sculptured from the whole block of green marble.

About 105 stone staircases from the main pagoda, there is a magnificent grotto. It is separated into three rounds, which are so called grotto to honor Buddha, dark grotto, and light grotto. The whole pathway inside the grotto is built into staircases creating the grandiose and magical spirals. There are many stalactites being made by nature into the shapes of powerful creatures such as dragon, lion, kneeling elephants, etc. The length from the hollowest parts of the cave to “the heaven gate” is about 50m. From this point, visitors could cover all the landscape of the complex Dich Long and the surrounded community areas.

The special part about stalactites is that they are changed according to the light. Sometimes they are yellow, sometimes red, which are magical and if people strike on these stalactites, there will be resounds all around the cave. Inside the dark grotto, lighting a fragrant incense stick would let people be at ease like they are out of the earthly life. The beauty of Dich Long is described by many poets and writers of Vietnam.

In the foot of the grotto, there is a garden named Thanh Dao who is said to be considered the prince – the son of Thinh Phan king and Ma Gia queen. Sire Dan was born in the middle of April in 624 in Lam Ty Ni garden. When he was grown up, he left all the palaces and throne to come to find the ease at mind and the way to save people from sorrow. After six years of tough religious life and 49 days of mediating under the tree of Bodhi, he was enlighten to be Sakyamuni Buddha, and the followers of him were lots with the representative of 10 followers who were the head of the monk groups.