But Thap Pagoda – Bac Ninh

The Buddhist temple But Thap pagoda, one of the most famous pagodas in Viet Nam is located near the dyke of the Duong River, Thuan Thanh, Bac Ninh, northern Vietnam. The But Thap pagoda Bac Ninh is also popularly called Nhan Thap Temple. The But Thap pagoda Vietnam houses the biggest Avalokiteśvara statue with one thousand eyes and a thousand arms.

There are various valuable ancient objects and statues, which are considered to be Vietnamese masterpieces of 17th-century wood carving. During the same time the temple had become famous for the venerable abbot and Zen master Chuyet Chuyet (1590 – 1644).


The pagoda has 10 buildings spreading for 100 meters from the three-entrance gate to the bell-tower and back house. Inside the temple are more than 50 statues of different sizes including the Triad Buddha, Manjusri on a blue lion and Samantabhadra on a white elephant. The most remarkable is the thousand-handed and thousand-eyed Guanyin, which is described as a sculptural masterpiece of Vietnam.

There are two 13-meter-high towers of Ton Duc and Bao Nghiem which are made of white rock, making the pagoda seem higher and more majestic and peaceful. Some remains of the 17th century are kept in here such as the statues, valuable donations, nine-storey Lotus Tower, Tuyet Son Statue, Bao Nghiem Tower, and Xa Ly Tomb.

The architecture, sculpture and decoration of the temple were exclusively confined to the 17th century, so it was the best intact and typical example of Vietnam’s classical Buddhist art.

Past of the pagoda is now under renovation (June 2016).

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