If you intend to visit Bac Ninh during your Vietnam travel journey, exploring Ba Chua Kho Temple should be one of the top activities on your bucket list. As the most well-known holy site in Bac Ninh, the unique architecture of this temple always makes a great impression on tourists’ minds. Read on to find out some interesting information about this sacred site.
1. Ba Chua Kho Temple: Location and spiritual significance
- Location: Kho Mountain, Co Me Village, Vu Ninh Ward, Bac Ninh City, Bac Ninh Province.
Situated within the revered Co Me relic complex, which includes a communal house, pagoda, and temple, Ba Chua Kho Temple holds both historical and spiritual importance. Recognized as a national cultural treasure in 1989, the temple has become a hub for heartfelt prayers for good fortune. This has led to more cultural events and an annual influx of pilgrims who gather during festivals. They are drawn by their deep respect for Ba Chua Kho, a figure intertwined with the nation's history. The temple stands as a bridge between cultural heritage and spiritual devotion, where the past and present come together in reverence.
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2. Things to know about the history of Ba Chua Kho Temple
As the tale goes, Ba Chua Kho is a beautiful and talented woman living in the peaceful village of Qua Cam. She was extremely good at organizing, storing food, helping the hungry, and supporting soldiers. King Ly was amazed by her and made her a queen when he passed through Qua Cam.
In 1077, on January 12th, the country was invaded by the Tong army. Under the leadership of Ly Thuong Kiet, the people united to resist the fierce enemy. In Co Me Village, Ba Chua Kho took on the responsibility of managing and directing the food supply for the troops stationed at the crucial Nhu Nguyet Riverfront. Tragically, during a supply mission to aid the people, she lost her life at the hands of the enemy.
Recognizing her dedication, King Tran honored her by ordering the villagers to build a temple for her. The old food warehouse on Kho Mountain was chosen as the location for the temple. This temple shows the community's deep respect for Ba Chua Kho, remembering her kindness and sacrifices for her people.
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3. The highlights of the architecture of Ba Chua Kho Temple
Back in the Tran Dynasty, Ba Chua Kho covered around 10,000 square meters, but now it is about 1700 square meters due to time and war. It got damaged during the war with the French, but in 1998, it was fixed while keeping its old-style look and detailed carvings.
The main communal house has carvings showing tigers, phoenixes, clouds, and carp turning into dragons. Nearby, there are two old buildings from the late 1800s that are still well preserved. The roof is held up by square pillars with decorations like flowers, leaves, and dragons. A special feature are the horns on top of the pillars.
On the campus of the temple, there is a lake and lots of trees. In the middle of the lake, there is a rock structure that adds to the temple's special feeling. All of this combines to make the Ba Chua Kho Temple a unique and historic place to visit.
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4. When does the Ba Chua Kho Temple festival take place?
Being one of the most anticipated Vietnam festivals, Ba Chua Kho Festival attracts people from all over the nation who come to the temple to ask for good things like peace and luck. This special event is held on January 14 annually, according to the lunar calendar. The temple gets really busy with thousands of visitors who come to pray.
People bring different types of offerings, like incense cards and flowers with a bit of money, or even fancier stuff like chicken and sticky rice dishes and trays of fruits for Ba Chua Kho. All these offerings show how much people want a great and successful year. Some people even come to the temple to "borrow money" from Ba Chua Kho, believing she can help them with money problems. This festival is a time for believing, coming together, and hoping for good things in the future.
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5. Important notes when visiting Ba Chua Kho Temple Bac Ninh
Ba Chua Kho Temple Festival is a unique event that attracts visitors from across the country. By adhering to these important notes, you can ensure a respectful and meaningful visit to this revered place of worship.
- Dress respectfully: It is important that visitors wear simple and appropriate clothes. Tourists should choose modest outfits in not-too-bold colors. Avoid clothes that show too much skin or could get tangled in crowded places. Wear comfortable shoes like flats or sneakers, especially if you want to walk around.
- Bring offerings: Buying offerings such as fruits, incense, and flowers before going to the temple will help you save time and money. In case you want to offer money, you should put it in the donation boxes, not on the main altar.
- Borrowing ritual: This is a form of borrowing yin money to receive yang fortune in doing business, wishing for wealth and luck. The ritual will require you to be honest and promise to pay it back. Write down how much you want to borrow, why, and when you plan to repay that amount. Even if you have financial difficulties later on, you should still keep your word.
- Pray yourself: At the temple, it is better to pray and make offerings yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it for you. That way, your actions prove to be more sincere and respectful.
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Ba Chua Kho Temple is one of the must-visit destinations in the charming city of Bac Ninh because of its extraordinary architecture and cultural significance. Here, you can escape from the hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in the serene spiritual life of Bac Ninh’s people. Hopefully, this article has provided you with all the necessary information to help you better prepare for your upcoming trip to this holy site.