The Dau Pagoda in Bac Ninh
The Dau Pagoda in Bac Ninh

Dau Pagoda - Bac Ninh Attractions

Dau Pagoda in Bac Ninh Province was built in the 2nd century A.D and claimed the oldest pagoda in Vietnam and the 'Cradle' of Buddhism in the country. That time, Vietnam had been invaded and ruled by the Chinese Han. The territory was called Giao Chi and the capital city of Giao Chi was Luy Lau. 

Dau Pagoda in Bac Ninh Vietnam
The Goddess of Clouds (Phap Van) at the Dau Pagoda

 

Dau Pagoda in Bac Ninh Vietnam
The Goddess of Rains (Phap Vu)

 There had been many merchants as well as Buddhist monks from India to Giao Chi, who introduced Buddhism to the territory. The Indian merchants and Indian Buddhist monks spent most of their time at Luy Lau which explains the many Buddhist pagodas around the region.

  The buildings in the back of Dau Pagoda
The buildings in the back of Dau Pagoda

Buddhism came to Luy Lau at the time that some indigenous cults had been practiced, one of which was to worship the Goddess of Rains, the Goddess of Clouds, the Goddess of Lightnings and the Goddess of Thunders. For this reason, the pagodas at Luy Lau would normally worship at least another local God or Goddess alongside with Buddhism. Traditionally, Vietnam had been a matriarchal society and hence the holy figures in the local cults tend to be female; the local communities mainly lived on agriculture, hence they worshiped phenomenons of Mother Nature. 

Curved roofs at Dau Pagoda
Curved roofs at Dau Pagoda

 Among the many pagodas at Luy Lau, the five biggest ones are those dedicated to the above four Goddesses and their mother – Man Nuong which is related to a legend about the combination of Indian Buddhism and local cults. Since the Dzau Pagoda dedicated to the Goddess of Rains was destroyed by the French, the statue of the Goddess of Rains (Phap Vu) was moved to the Dau Pagoda. Although the Dau Pagoda is dedicated to Buddhism, but the Goddess of Clouds and the Goddess of Rains are worshiped here too.

The backyard of the pagoda
The backyard of the pagoda

When visiting the Dau Pagoda, it's very easy to see the blend of Indian and Vietnamese cultures: the Goddess of Clouds is more of an Indian lady and the Goddess of Rains is more of a Vietnamese one, the symbol of Linga,...

Dau Pagoda is 30km north of Hanoi. Paradissa offers half a day trips, cycling tours to the Dau Pagodas and other tourist attractions in the Red River Delta.
 

Dau Pagoda in Bac Ninh Vietnam
Hoa Phong Tower (The towering of the auspicious winds)

 

Dau Pagoda in Bac Ninh Vietnam
Dau Pagoda in Bac Ninh Vietnam