Pavitrya

Tam Giao (Three Religions) Temple – Nhi Thanh Grotto, One of the Eight Beauty Spots in Lang Son

Tam Giao (i.e. Three traditional religions, including Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism) Temple, also known as Tam Giao Pagoda together with Nhi Thanh Grotto is one of the eight beauty spots in Lang Son. According to the documents left, this temple was established by Ngo Thi Si – the commander administering Lang Son in order to worship all three special ones: Khong Tu (Confucius) of Taoism, Phat Thich Ca (Sakyamuni) of Buddhism, and Lao Tu (Lao-tzu) of Confucianism.

In May 1779, Ngo Thi Si hired masons to embellish the grotto area. The left grotto is high and has better ground position; hence, Tam Giao Temple was built on this ground. The grotto Nhi Thanh under the pagoda is a natural rocky cave with the length of more than 500 meters from the front gate to the back gate and a great deal of spectacular natural scenery. To the left of the grotto, a dragon was carved; above to right side of the grotto, a tiger was engraved. This arrangement was affected by the thought of Confucianism “the green dragon on the left and the white tiger on the right”, which is correlative to the constellations at the east and west. At the opposite of the grotto, Ngo Thi Si let people carve his statue onto the stone; this statue later is highly evaluated as one of the works containing precious value in fine arts at that time. In side this relic area, there are 20 epitaphs that have been carved directly on the stone left; those epitaphs recorded many valuable materials and were also the autograph books of the contemporary famous scholars.

Annually, on the 15th to 17th days of the first Lunar month, the residents living around this region are eager to go on a pilgrimage to this temple to commemorate Ngo Thi Si, a cultural famous person who had merits in establishing and developing Lang Son Township.


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