An important place of pilgrimage and the largest complex of Buddhist temples in the country, Bai Dinh is a fascinating site for its mix of old and new. Ancient temples are housed in caves you can only reach via a pretty climb of 300 steps, while the new temple area covers an area of 500 hectares. This is a tranquil place to relax in the afternoon.
The old Bai Dinh pagoda is located on the western slope of Dinh mountain and nestles in quiet forest. The pagoda houses an ancestor-worshipping house in the centre, Bright cave on the right hand side which worships the Buddha, the small temple worshipping Genie Cao Son. In addition, on the left hand side of the pagoda is another temple worshipping Saint Nguyen and next to it is Dark cave which worships the Fairy. With fanciful scenery and quiet atmosphere, the pagoda will make visitors feel likely to live in fairy land and they find peace in their minds.
Besides, visitors can explore many other grottoes and caves like Fairy cave with seven smaller ones or cave of Ba Chua Thuong Ngan (The goddess of forests). In these caves and grottoes, there are a large variety of magnificent stalactites and stalagmites with various strange shapes and sizes that will invoke the imagination of visitors.
On the other side of Dinh Moutain is new Bai Dinh pagoda. This pagoda has been built since 2003 and covers a 80 ha area. The Bai Dinh pagoda possesses many parts such as Tam The Temple, Phap chu Temple, Quan Am temple (Bodhisattva Temple), Bao Thap, Bell Tower and dormitory area for Buddhist monks.
All materials are collected from local area and neighboring provinces. To build the pagoda requires about five hundred craftsmen and many groups of workers from famous traditional craft villages such as Phu Loc wood making village, Ninh Van stone carving village, Y Yen bronze casting village, Van Lam embroidery village and so on. Such people used Vietnamese materials for instance, green stone of Ninh Binh or ceramic tiles of Bat Trang to create Vietnamese features for the architecture of Bai Dinh pagoda.