Cao dai temple, tay ninh


Cao dẻo Temple is the center of Caodaism faithful in South Vietnam. It is famous for a unique architectural style reflecting its blended traditions as well as attracts a lot of visitors exploring the Caodaism, an indigenous Vietnamese religion combining the teachings of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism… Just 100km from Ho đưa ra Minh City, Cao dai Temple is a perfect place for a day trip or combine a visit with Cu bỏ ra Tunnels. This is definitely a must thing to vị in the vicinity of Ho đưa ra Minh City.

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General Information


Out look of Cao dai Temple

Cao dai Temple (also called Tay Ninh Holy See) was started to build in 1933 & officially inaugurated in 1955. It is a special religious work of Caodaism (Cao dẻo religion), located in Hoa Thanh District, about 4km from Tay Ninh City. In the early 1920s, Caodaism was established in Southern Vietnam but had not been officially codified until 1926. It is the 3rd largest religion in Vietnam borrowing elements of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Confucianism, and Islam. It is currently estimated that there are nearly 3 million followers nationwide, living in 38 provinces and cities, mainly concentrated in the South Vietnam.


A man start the noontime ceremorny

The symbol of Cao dai religion is an eye in a triangle, representing the God. This divine eye is depicted in many places around the temple, especially the main door. In addition, the religion also worships Shakyamuni Buddha, Jesus Christ, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Lady Guanyin …


Holly eye in a triangle, representing the God

Cao dẻo Temple’s Architecture


View of the Noon time ceremony at Cao dẻo Temple

The architectural of Cao dẻo Temple is itself an attraction. The building is a combination of Neo-Gothic, Baroque và Oriental design và is very ornately decorated including long wrapped pillars, seven-headed cobras, và ceilings of sky blue.


Holy section inside Cao dai Temple

There are 12 gates khổng lồ Cao dẻo Temple, all of which are decorated with sculptures of four sacred animals of Asian belief và lotus. The main entrance is the largest one with the words “Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do” in both Vietnamese & Chinese. This gate is only opened on occasions khổng lồ welcome heads of states or leaders of religions.

There are about architectural works around the site connected by wide road. In a spacious courtyard, you will walk around the Buddha statues & lush gardens before reaching the Great Temple – one of the most outstanding buildings. It is 97m long & 22m wide and characterized by three 36m-high towers and two 25m-tall pavilions sheltering steeples & drums. The Great Temple was built according khổng lồ the architectural requirements of the Cao dai Sect. The construction is a harmonious fusion of Asian & European styles, with domes & embellishments exemplifying the spirit of the region. The floor of the temple is divided into 9 levels called “Nine Fairy Levels”. The high domed ceiling is painted sky-blue with fluffy clouds. At the over of the temple is a large sphere, representing the universe with 3,027 stars around and the Divine Eye on it.

What to lớn see in Cao dai Temple


Beside its quality architecture, watching Caodaism prayer is one of the main highlights when visiting the temple. Most worshippers wear pure trắng robes while men with the rank of priest and higher have brightly colored robes reflecting their own spiritual allegiance: yellow for Buddhism, blue for Taoism or red for Confucianism. Both the bishops và cardinals have the Divine Eye which is emblazoned on their headpieces. During worship, men are seated on the right & women on the left with all devotees seated in orderly rows.

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Dragon carving on the main pillars of Cao dẻo Temple

Ritual prayers are held four times daily at 6:00 AM, noon, 6:00 PM và midnight. For day-trip visitors coming from Ho chi Minh City, the ceremony at noon is suitable to lớn see. Female tourists will enter the temple through a door at the base from the left side and then roam around the outside of the colonnaded hall as a clockwise direction. Meanwhile, men will enter from the right side và move around the hall as an anticlockwise direction. During the visit, you are able khổng lồ take pictures of the prayer sessions from the upstairs balcony, but under the instructions of the priests. Remember there are some places you have no permission to lớn take photographs.


Music band at Cao dẻo ceremony

In addition, Duc chi Ton Great Ceremony and Dieu Tri Kim Mau Festivals are two largest annual festivals held in Cao dẻo temple on the 9th day of January và the 15th day of August in lunar calendar respectively. Và the full moon day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar are the two biggest festivals of the Cao dai Temple. The holy land of the South welcomes on these occasions thousands of followers and visitors from every corner of the country coming here to lớn soak up in the festive atmosphere.


How to lớn get to Cao dẻo Temple

Cao dẻo Temple is located in Hoa Thanh District of Tay Ninh Province, about 90km northwest of Ho chi Minh City & approximately 55km of the Cu đưa ra Tunnels. You can combine a visit to Cao dai Temple và Cu đưa ra Tunnels on a day trip. There are some options to reach to Cao dai Temple from Ho bỏ ra Minh City. Depending on your interest, you can choose one:


– By motorbike: For those who are familiar with driving motorbike in Vietnam and don’t want khổng lồ depend on any schedule, this option is the best. Tourists can hire a motorbike from a shop in Saigon & drive to lớn Cao dai Temple. It will take you around 2-2.5 hours khổng lồ reach there.– By bus: If you cannot drive a motorbike but still want khổng lồ find a budget option, taking a bus is alternative. First, you catch a bus #703 from Ben Thanh Market bus stop khổng lồ Moc Bai, then catch a bus #05 lớn Tay Ninh Bus Station. After that, you should take a taxi or motorbike taxi to reach lớn Cao dẻo Temple, about 6km away. It will take you at least 3 hours since you have to lớn get on & get off several buses.– By private car with organized tour: The most convenient & popular way khổng lồ get to lớn Cao dẻo Temple is lớn book a tour with a local travel agent who will arrange all services from transfer, local tour guide, entrance fees… for you. You can either visit both Cu bỏ ra Tunnels & Cao dai Temple in a day or just Cao dai Temple.

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Tips & Travel Advice


Shoes off for entry Cao dai temple

– As a sacred place, you should dress formerly, avoid tank tops, shorts or skirts over the knee.– Remember lớn take off your shoes and hats before entering the temple.– You can take photos of beautiful structures, scenes và prayer sessions but always ask for permission.– You are not allowed to lớn go in the middle of main building as this area is for worshipers only.– 10 minutes before the religious ceremony starts at noon, access to lớn the interior of the temple is prohibited, so make sure you come here before 12:00. During the ceremony, keep silent and don’t walk around.