Ba Da pagoda and the spiritual life of Hanoi people

by Minh Hiếu">Minh Hiếu

Located in Nha Tho str, about 100 meters from St Joseph Cathedral Hanoi, Ba Da Pagoda is a religious and historic site of Hanoi, a Buddhist center in the Hanoi Old Quarter.

  • Bà Đá (Stone Lady) Pagoda
  • Opening hours: 07:00 AM – 09:00 PM
  • 03, Nha Tho Street, Hanoi (100 meters from St Joseph’s Cathedral, 200 meters to Hoan Kiem Lake (Map)
  • Entrance fee: Free 
The entrance to Ba Da pagoda
The entrance to Ba Da pagoda

The legend of Ba Da pagoda

The pagoda dates back to the year 1056, under the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong, the name Ba Da Pagoda (Stone Lady Pagoda) was given when building the walls of the new citadel, a stone was discovered that resembled a woman.

Believing that this was a sacred sign sent by the Mother Goddess of the land, the local people constructed a temple in the area to memorialize the stone. Throughout history, the pagoda was rebuilt but kept its sacred Buddhist sign of Hanoi.

Follow a narrow lane of Nha Tho street, and you will find the religious pagoda in a very quiet corner, opposite the busy city life outside, it makes this place more serene and peaceful. Given the feeling that you are in a very different place, not in the center of Hanoi capital that is the special Hanoi city where the old and new things exist together.

Ba Da Pagoda
Ba Da Pagoda has its own legend

The spiritual life of local people

The best time to visit Ba Da Pagoda is the first day and mid-day (15th day) of the lunar month when you can discover a part of local Hanoi spiritual life.

Visit Ba Da Pagoda to know about the spiritual life of local people
Visit Ba Da Pagoda to know about the spiritual life of local people
Incense burning in Ba Da pagoda
Incense burning in Ba Da Pagoda

On these days of the lunar month, many locals, mostly the elderly come to worship and practice meditation or listen to monks’ lectures. Locals come here to burn the incense and pray for the best things in their liver health, wealth, and happiness.

There more young people come to the pagoda for worship, for them, it is better to be in this quiet place and balance the busy working life outside. It helps to refresh their minds.

Local people also burn paper money and other paper offerings with the belief that they will be sent to the ancestors and they could use this in a different world.

A Vietnamese local pagoda in the center of Hanoi
A Vietnamese local pagoda in the center of Hanoi

The pagoda with its large yard is also a parking site for the motorbike of office staff working nearby. On a normal day, the pagoda welcomes local meditators and tourists coming to visit.

Ba Da Pagoda, well-located in the heart of the Hanoi Old Quarter, remains one of the most special Buddhist sights of the Hanoi people, where you can find a part of local spiritual life during a walk around the Hanoi Old Quarter.

Minh Hiếu

Written by Minh Hiếu">Minh Hiếu

Co-founder at OneVivu Travel & Service Co., Ltd