Ba Den Mountain cultural complex – an alluring pilgrimage destination
admin 19-11-2020, 16:58
Ba Den Mountain cultural complex – an alluring pilgrimage destination
Visitors at Ba Temple (Photo: VNA) 

Hanoi (VNA) –
Ba Den (Black Lady) Mountain Relic and Cultural Complex in the southwestern province of Tay Ninh has become an attractive tourist destination awaiting pilgrims and lovers of culture and nature in recent years.

A visit to the 24 square kilometre complex, located 11 kilometres from Tay Ninh city, can be easily arranged by car, bus or motorbike.

Lying in the middle of a fertile plain, Ba Den Mountain covered with white clouds nearly year-round is one of three mountains in the Ba Den Mountain Relic and Cultural complex, which comprises Ba Den Mountain at a height of 986 metres above sea level, Phung (Phoenix) Mountain and Heo (Pig) Mountain.

The 300-year-old Ba (Lady) Temple was built on the mountainside of the Ba Den Mountain, a sacred place for Buddhists. It attracts thousands of pilgrims headed for the temple to pray for peace, good fortune and prosperity.

The busiest time of the year for pilgrimages is the first lunar month during the Ba Den Mountain Spring Festival and the 5th to 6th day of the fifth lunar month for Black Lady’s birthday anniversary.

Hoa Dong Temple, Hang Temple, Quan Am Temple and Trung Temple with distinct architectural styles are scattered around Ba Den mountainside.

The Ba Den Mountain, dubbed the roof of southern Vietnam, is both an ideal weekend trekking destination and one that those on a holiday can explore during weekdays. It is not the easiest of treks, but it rewards visitors with heavenly views of floating clouds and unspoiled nature.

From the foot of the mountain to the Ba Temple, visitors can either climb up around 1,000 steps or take a cable car, which costs 7.50 USD for a return ticket. Tourists can get a panoramic view of a waterfall under the glistening sun, mysterious caves and the dense forest beneath from the cable car.

From the temple, a trail passes through lush forest, rugged roads, dark caves and streams before reaching the mountain peak at 986 meters above sea level. The crowning moment of this trip is sitting on a cliff that has been described as the “turtle’s head.”

A view of the Ba Temple (Photo: VNA)

In 2018, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved a master plan to develop the Ba Den (Black Lady) Mountain national tourism site in the southwestern province of Tay Ninh into a special spiritual and cultural site by 2035.

Some 3,000 hectares spanning Tay Ninh city’s Ninh Son ward, Ninh Thanh ward and Thanh Tan commune and part of Phan commune in Duong Minh Chau district will be zoned off for the site.

Under the plan, economic, population, land use and infrastructure factors will be prioritised.

Relevant sides will evaluate the impacts of tourism development at the site and study linking the Ba Den Mountain with other tourist attractions in the province, Ho Chi Minh City and other localities in the southeast region.

Works at the site must be based on local culture, history and practices.

From 2019 to 2025, the provincial authorities will build a detailed plan, basic infrastructure and tourism brand for the Ba Den Mountain. From 2025 to 2035, the site will be completed with service areas and managed according to the approved planning.

It is estimated that the Ba Den Mountain will welcome five million visitors by 2025 and eight million visitors in 2035.

Along with the Ba Den Mountain Relic and Cultural Complex, visitors to Tay Ninh province cannot miss the Cao Dai Tay Ninh Holy See, 5 kilometres away from Tay Ninh city, the headquarters of the Cao Dai religion known as Caodaism.

The giant, bright temple which was built in 1931 and officially inaugurated in 1955 is the most important shrine for the religion’s four million followers.

The Holy See, with its western and eastern architectural style, has become a popular tourist attraction in Tay Ninh, drawing 100-200 foreign tourists a day.

It is worth visiting during prayer sessions. The session at noon is most popular with tour groups, according to a local tour guide./.