Cao dai holy see


There are over 10 official religions in Vietnam, and Caodaism is an indigenous one. Constructed in the holy land, Toa Thanh Temple (or as some called: "Cao dẻo Temple", but its official name is Toa Thanh Temple) has stood vividly as a headquarter, a home of Caodaists, và an important religious place in Vietnam.

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About Cao dẻo Religion

Caodaism, or dai Dao Tam Ky Pho vày Cao dai (The Third Great Universal Religious Amnesty), is a monotheistic religion which was founded in Vietnam in 1926 by Ngo Van Chieu (his name in Caodaism - Ngo Minh Chieu), an official of the French’s government during the First Indochina War. The Caodaists believe that their God, represented as the Divine Eye which is also the symbol of Caodaism, is the Supreme being, the Creator of the universe và of all religions.


The Divine Eye of The Supreme Being is the sacred symbol of Caodaism.

Spiritism originating from Europe in the early 20th century was the origin of the existence và all the customs of Caodaism. Cao dẻo practices & preachings synthesize those of the widely-practiced religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, và Geniism. The religion places a high value on harmony, peace, & uniting all beings & encourage tolerance & sympathy among people around the world. Also, Caodaists believe in karma và samsara (good deed results in good reincarnation), so they pray, love all kinds, và become vegetarianism.

Now, there are about 2-3 million followers in Vietnam, and the headquarter is officially set up in Hoa Thanh District, Tay Ninh Province, which is 4 kilometers Southeast of Tay Ninh City.

History of Toa Thanh Temple

Located in Long Thanh Bac Commune, Hoa Thanh District, Tay Ninh Province, Toa Thanh Temple is the governmental Holy See of Caodaism in Vietnam. Its construction was started in 1931 & finished in 1947 but the history of the temple is more complicated than just the numbers.

Caodaism had the religion"s opening ceremony in 1926 in Tu Lam Pagoda, Tay Ninh Province. It is said that a new location for the official headquarters of Caodaism was a message from the Supreme. The Caodaists followed the instruction và bought land in the forest, which is the current location of the temple. The architecture & the size of the temple are also believed lớn have been planned out by planchette writing.


It took around đôi mươi years lớn complete the temple without any support from professional architects.

Caodaism first embarked on its construction with thatch và soil due lớn the shortage of financial tư vấn and manpowerbut then postponed due to the internal conflicts of ideology among Caodaists. Later on, the temple was reconstructed several times in 1931, 1933, and 1935 but all efforts were suspended because they were lack of money. It was not until Pham Cong Tac recruited many followers & restarted the project that Cao dai Temple was finished & inaugurated on the God-worshipping day took place in 1955. The temple completion marks the grandest Caodaist event ever & has always been the pride of all Caodaists.

Toa Thanh Temple Architecture

There are 12 gates lớn Tay Ninh Holy See. The main entrance is the largest one with the words "Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do" in both Vietnamese & Chinese. However, visitors must not enter the Holy See by that gate as it is only for monks & authorized people.


The huge and gorgeous main gate is always opened for the authorized of Toa Thanh Temple.

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The campus connecting with wide roads creates a large mở cửa area for motorbikes & cars move freely in and out


The statue of Thich Ca Buddha riding a horse và accompanied by his student is surrounded by a small garden.


The remaining natural forest on the two sides of the campus

Generally, there are about 100 architectural works around the site connected by wide roads, which makes Tay Ninh Holy See among the largest ones in the world. Standing splendidly in the site is the Toa Thanh Temple which is 140-meter long và 40-meter wide. On the outside, the temple is painted with a sacred yellow màu sắc and decorated with many intricate designs of stairs & windows. The temple is supported by many solid dragon sculptured pillars and two impressive 2 belfries (36-meter high each), a pleasing combination of the European và Asian structure.


The exterior of Toa Thanh Temple is decorated with a single sacred eye, & lotus carves around.


The series of pillars with impressive ornate dragons curling around.

The Great Temple includes 3 towers, namely Hiep Thien Dai, Cuu Trung Dai, & Bat Quai Dai. It is so majestic with the length và the height that you must raise your head to lớn see all around the building. Entering the temple, you may see the ground floor divided into 9 stages as stages you must pass when coming to lớn heaven. As for the ceiling, it is filled with many stars as the night skies. At the kết thúc of the temple is the xanh globe, representing the universe, with 3,072 stars around and the Divine Eye (The Left Eye) as the symbol of Caodaism.


These are the statues of three men who created the Cao dẻo religion, from right lớn left are Thuong Sanh, Ho Phap, & Thuong Pham.


These gold-plate seats represent the positions of the Supreme Being & other saints who are his students.

Overall, Toa Thanh Temple is a unique religious architecture affected by some religions in the world like Hinduism as well as the Vietnamese national feature such as lotus và four mythical creatures. The temple also represents all the holy beliefs of Caodaism in their ultimate God.

Toa Thanh Temple on Special Occasions of Caodaism

Special occasions of Caodaism include God-worshipping days in the 1st and 8th month of Lunar Calendar. On such days, the Holy See organizes special festivals with grave visits, many booths on historical & religious events và the display of the biggest fruits in Southern Vietnam. Due to the specialty and the religious feature, such annual festivals always attract a large number of believers & tourists.


This is where people gather lớn enjoy the dragon Dance & Lion Dance in the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Etiquettes when VisitingToa Thanh Temple

There are two entrances exclusively for men & women once entering the inside. Men must follow the right door, & women get in through the left one. Remember to lớn take off your shoes before going inside. Don’t forget to lớn greet the monks by nodding your head & with a smile. You should not wear revealing clothes because it’s disrespectful for Caodaism. You are not allowed to lớn walk in the middle of the main building since that is the area for Caodaists to vì the worshiping. You can take photos of the beautiful structures, but remember lớn ask for permission. In the ceremony times at 6 AM và 12 PM, you are not allowed to visit every building, but you can wander around the campus.

Read more on Dos và Don’ts in Vietnam.

Chuyên mục: Du lịch