Keo Pagoda – Thai Binh

Keo Pagoda is located in Thai Binh Province, approximately 120km from Hanoi city’s center. It is one of the most beautiful ancient pagodas of Vietnam.

Keo Pagoda was built in 1067 by Monk Duong Khong Lo and has been upgraded many times. The present pagoda was rebuilt in 1630 in an area of 108,000m².

The ensemble of pagoda has got 17 structures composed of 128 compartments, which well blend with the natural setting. Passing a large area and a lake, visitors will see a three-entrance gate opening; shrines of Buddha and his disciples.

The architectural arrangement of pagoda follows the style tien Phat hau Thanh (the front is dedicated to the Buddha and the back to deities). It consists of Ho Pagoda, Buddha altar, the sanctuary dedicated to Zen Master Khong Lo, patriarch-worshipping house, and two corridors stretching from Ho Pagoda to the patriarch-worshipping house.

The three-storey bell tower is 11.06m in height and has got 12 roofs with 12 charming curved corners. This is an original architectural work with artistic features of wood installation, evoking a freshly boomed lotus rising by the straight high areca trees. On the first storey of the bell tower, a 1.87m wide musical stone instrument (khanh) is hung over. On the second storey, there is a bell cast in 1686, and on the third – the highest storey is bell cast in 1796.

The offerings in the temple are carved or engraved with elaborate designs. Some designs of four centimeters diameter contain nine engraved dragons. The Keo Pagoda, with a total of 120 chambers, has the appearance of a blooming lotus. It is now a tourist attraction and a pride and joy for the Vietnamese architects.

At present, the pagoda preserves many valuable votive objects. At its back sanctuary, there is a statue of Zen Master Khong Lo made of aloe wood in 1094, a bell cast in the Le Dynasty, and khanh and porcelain.

Keo Pagoda was recognized as a national historical and cultural relic site.

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