Thai Vi Temple is located in Van Lam village, Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province. It is home to worship first Kings of the Tran Dynasty, namely King Tran Thai Tong, King Tran Thanh Tong, King Tran Nhan Tong, King Tran Anh Tong along with Generals such as Tran Hung Dao, Tran Quang Khai and Queen Thuan Thien. Thai Vi Temple is situated inside Tam Coc - Bich Dong tourist complex. Here, tourists will have a chance to recall memories of a glorious reign in the nation's history - Tran Dynasty, admire special features of folklore and unique art in the style of temple architecture.
Along with the historical values, Thai Vi Temple retains unique architectural style unlike other temples in Ninh Binh. The temple was built under the strong influence of the pagoda and temple architecture. The steeple was built in ironwood. The entire main architecture of the temple is built of stone. Even the altars, worshiping items and incensory are made from monolithic greenstone. It is unique features which make the temple magnificent and solid posture becoming one of impressive tourist attractions in Ninh Binh alluring the great number of tourists.
The steeple is designed two-storey with eight parallel roofs. It is home a bell had casted since 1689. Opposite with the bell tower is the stele tower and 3 steles in both sides. The 4-side stele tower was built in 1926. The content of steles recorded the years of restoring and repairing Thai Vi Temple along with those who contributed to build the temple. The main roads and Dragon courtyard are paved with greenstones. The Dragon courtyard is about 40 square meters wide with 2 blocks of Vong houses in both sides. Stepping from the courtyard under stone sidesteps with the height of 1.2 meters is massive Ngu Dai Mon (5 Great Entrance) with 6 rows of parallel round stone pillars carved the motifs of dragons overlooking the chancel. Outer surface of the stone pillars is carved with parallel sentences in kanji. Discovering the unique architectural features of Thai Vi Temple will certainly be one of the most things to do in Ninh Binh.
The rafts on the patios are also made of stone carved 2 dragons flanking the moon. The center compartment of the chancel is home a horizontal lacquered board red lacquer trimmed with gold hung on height. Setting foot on inside is 3 compartments with 2 rows of round stone columns including 4 pillars in each row carved the decorative pattern of dragon. The compartment is also home to a stone altar with 2 couples of wooden Cranes in both sides. After these 3 compartments are 5 main compartments with 8 round-shaped stone pillars sophisticatedly carved. The most prominent in Thai Vi Temple is that all columns are made of large monolithic green stones elaborately carved with smooth and elegant details. Sculpting features and unique architecture have brought Thai Vi Temple to become one of the most impressive Ninh Binh attractions.
Sculptors and stone carving artisans made the pillars become soulful with high artistic values. The sanctum of the temple is the statue of King Tran Thanh Tong in the middle, the statue of King Tran Thai Tong on the left and statue of Queen Thuan Thien adjacent King Tran Thai Tong. Besides, the temple is also home to worship ancestral tablet of King Tran Nhan Tong (the first son of King Tran Thanh Tong) and Tran Anh Tong. Thai Vi Temple thus houses to worship 4 Kings of Tran Dynasty. There are also statues of Sudhana (also popular known as Child of Wealth) standing in both sides of the Kings. Behind the magnificent and tranquil Thai Vi Temple is dragon eyes on the sides. Discovering the architectural style of the statues in the sanctum and the harmonious scenery here will be surely indispensable experiences in the journey of exploring Ninh Binh travel.
In particular, Thai Vi Temple is also known nationwide for its unique festival. Thai Vi Temple Festival is held from 14th to 17th March in lunar calendar with the purpose of commemorating the merits of the first Kings of Tran Dynasty worshiped in the temple. Along with unique rituals imbued with national cultural identity which has been passed down for many generations, tourists also have the opportunity to participate in the folk games such as a lion dance, dragon dance, human chess, wrestling or boat racing... These experiences will be certainly unforgettable when tourists go to the temple right at festival occasion.
Not only is it one of the most famous Ninh Binh temples, Thai Vi Temple is also an important cultural historical relics of the city. It is also one of the most appealing tourist attractions in the cultural tourist route of Tam Coc - Bich Dong. Wonderful natural scenery and unique festival atmosphere will definitely satisfy tourists once participating in Ninh Binh tourism to the temple.