Truc lam Tay Thien Zen Monastery

02/12/2013

Truc lam Tay Thien Zen Monastery is constructed on the old foundation of temple for favour from heaven and Buddhism, from 250m - 300 m above the sea level in Tam Dao-Tay Thien range, a fame of Ly Tran dynasty.

On April 4, 2004 or February 15 of the leap Dragon year, the rock laying ceremony for construction of the Truc Lam Tay Thien monasty organized in Thong Temple in Dai Dinh Commune, Tam Dao District, Vinh Phuc Province. After 15 months of construction, a new fame inaugurated and it becomes a place for tourists and Buddhists from every corner of the country to come.

Its sanctum is 17 m high with the area of 673.2 m2 (20.4 m x 33 m). There are only four pillars Inside to support the roof so it is spacious as a meeting hall, high and large space, bright and majestic. Inside the sanctum, there is an altar with three statues, which wanted to show that the leading to a religious life of the monastery is Buddhism is in the heart, the target of the Buddhism is to enlighten the perspicacity, develop the desire, enlighten and deliver. Both sides of the sanctum are bell and drum steeples. At the back of the sanctum is the show room, house of ancestor, monk guesthouse, and female guesthouse. In the left side hand, there is a nun guesthouse. The public WC is located near to the car parking. From Vinh Yen City, you can go by car to the foot of Tam Dao range. From there, you go on the concrete road along the range to the park of the monastery. Here you start walking on the stone stairs to the huge three-door temple gate. Brethren Nguyen Quoc Toan used Thanh Hoa marble to make big stone plates and the incense-burner putting in front of the sanctum. Passing the three-door temple gate, you have to walk another tens of stone stairs to a small yard then to the sanctum.

Truc Lam Tay Thien Monastery is an imposing and splendid architecture works bearing the stamp of Buddhist architecture and aesthetics. It is not a copy from the ancient pagodas in Viet Nam in the 16-17 centuries but mixing the harmonization with modernization. The Monastery maintains the special characteristics of the Buddhist pagoda but bearing deep national culture characteristics, meeting the demand of the spirit life of the present Buddhists, safeguarding the landscape, the eco-environment and the attractiveness of Tam Dao National Forest.

Tay Thien - A Beauty of Nature

Tay Thien natural Beauty is on Thach Ban mountain of Dai Dinh Commune, Tam Dao District, Vinh Phuc Province. It is also in the Tam Dao National Forest. Tay Thien area possesses many temples, pagodas, old stone stelae and rich flora and fauna. Tay Thien is endowed with the majestic natural landscape: Suoi Vang (the golden-like stream), thac Bac (the silver-like water fall), Truong Sinh creek, Giai Oan stream, the nine-rooted banian tree etc...Speaking of Tay Thien, people immediately think of the National Mother Lang Thi Tieu temple (located in Thuong Temple)- who supported Hung King to fight against the invaders  and to defend Van Lang country at the time. Besides that, Tay Thien Truc Lam monastery where defined a cradle of Buddhism in Viet Nam, is restored on the foundation of the ancient Thien An temple. The national Mother temple and Tay Thien Truc Lam monastery are the spiritual culture works for hundred thousands of people from every corner of the country and from abroad to visit and worship.

There are many beauty spots and famous cultural, historic relics in Vinh Phuc Province. In order to awake this potential, Vinh Phuc People’s Committee decides to construct a Tay Thien Festival-Cultural Centre and the ropeway project on December 5, 2009 in Thong Temple, Dai Dinh Commune, Tam Dao District. The Center is built under the subject of “Visit the Buddhist and come back the National Mother” and expected by 2010. The works includes items as: a religious ceremony axis, festival ground, stand and other supporting items and the resettlement. This is one of the most important festival center in Vinh Phuc Province. From 2011, 2012 onwards, Vinh Phuc will concentrate to construct the services items, reception house, post office, bank, photograph booth, rural market etc...

The ropeway project invested by La Hong Company has a total capital of VND 258 billion. There are three stations with total land area of 1.73 ha. The starting station is Cau temple, then passing over Bac waterfall and stops in Thuong Temple. This project is given priority to construct aiming at providing tourists a more favorable condition of visiting Tay Thien natural beauty.

Tay Thien natural beauty is of great significance in respect of Buddhist and the national history, attracting people in the whole country to pilgrimage to Buddhist sanctuary and to learn about history of building and safeguarding the country. The Center also satisfy the need of the people of yearly festival, supporting Vinh Phuc shifting its economic structure and increasing the people’s living standard, both economy and socio-culture.

Ha Tien Pagoda

Ha Tien pagoda is in Chua Ha street, Vinh Yen City, which passes by Road 2B to Tam Dao mountain. The pagoda has a land area of 6.2 ha and was constructed in Deer Year (1703), the twenty-fourth Chinh Hoa date of Le Hy Tong Duy Hiep King. In this campus, there are five-storey precious towers of three storeys. Among the five, only the ancestor monk tower is covered almost four its direction by an over 300 years-old banian. 

On December 13 of the rooster year or January 20, 2006 the pagoda was restored to become an imposing and bigger and more beautiful located in the middle of the City. From the Southeast of the area, you go through the three-door gate to the left and right side gates, and then go around the corridor to three refuges with an architecture space to describe imitate the three-storey precious tower. From its yard going to the eaves, you have to step through nine stairs named “nine plane of hierarchy”. Four corners of the pagoda roof, they are made curved. On its rooftop, there is a statue of “two dragons flanking a moon”. At the back of the pagoda, it is an ancestor house. Both sides of the house there are reception and exhibit rooms. Other works are library, male monk house, tower garden and pearl waterwell.

The Pagoda and the Mother temple are very high and majessty, which represen the parmanence and diffusion, tranquil and holy. In front of the pagoda are doors made of four variety wood careved meticulously. The upper part of each door is fixed the wooden rais. The under is engraved the styled four seaons pictures. Under the roof is fixed the wooden board along the front of the sanctum with the five engraved big crossword puzzles, skilfully and epitomizedly. Three sides of the front, the left and the right there is a cooridor and stone pillars on which there are the engraved lissomly patterns. In the foot of each pillar, the names of the donators are carved humblely. All these ten stone pillars are engraved the paralell sentences in Chinese. The Holy Mother temple has tree plane steps. In its front, there are two pairs of paralell sentences in Chinese fixed on the four pillars of its middle room. The letters are engraved the style of return writing.    

Ha Tien pagoda is really a great landscape of Vinh Yen City, Vinh Phuc Province.

 

Temple of Tran Nguyen Han

Lap Thach District has an old land possessing the long aged historic and cultural tradition, and long standing literature and many nice old custom of the water-rice civilization. Due to close to the top of Red River Delta, to the Capital of Van Lang in Hung King dynasty hence religious beliefs still bears a deep spirit nuance of the old Vietnamese. In Lap Thach, there are many beauty spots, historic vestiges especially the Temple of Co- Primier Minister Tran Nguyen Han.

The Temple is constructed in Da Cai Village, Son Dong Commune, Lap Thach District. Tran Nguyen Han supported Le Loi to defeat Ming enemy liberated the country in the XV century. The Temple is located on the flat, high and large land. As the legend has said, it is his former office land. The Temple is desigend in the manner of the letter “Ting” (Chinese letter). There are three construction items: entrance gate, cult and harem. From its foundation, the temple has been restored many times and enlarged, the event mainly occuerd in Nguyen Dynasty. The architecture art bears the style of Nguyen Dynasty: flatly planed and simplly decorative.

Relating to twoancient things: a sword and a sword sharpening stone, legand has it that during the Ming (Chinese) invader ruled over our country, Tran Nguyen Han is still a youth at the time. Due to his parents are farmers living in Son Dong Commune, so every day he has to go ploughing and hoeing. One day, he ploughs out a steel bar in Go Rach field. It looks like a sword form. He brings it home and every night he sharpens it on a large stone on the Son lake. This stone is then called the sharpening sword stone. On its surface, there is trace like a cut and people say that it is a sword test cut of Tran Nguyen Han. He always carries it all day long and by chance; a draft owner living in the mouth of Phu Hau River gives him a wood bar picked up from the bottom of the River. This wood bar is like a sword handle and when putting the sword in it, it is tightly on and the sword takes effect since then.

The legendary sword is thightly connected with his well-known battle acievements, a person of the first commander in Le Dynasty who has rendered outstanding services to the country. Legend has it that wafterward, Ton That Thuyet borroed this sword to call for the Royalists to fight against the Frech colonialist. The stone, after a long time covered by Lo River alluvium until January 12, 1998, Da Village people found it in the 2m deep. It is around 2.49m long, 1.6m wide, 0.4m thick and about 2 MT weight. The stone then inclined to the Lotus Lake. Son Dong people  crane and transport and put this stone in the Tran Nguyen Han Temple campus for every people to enjoy the vestige of the former national horo.

Binh Son Tower

Under the Ly-Tran dynasty, there are many towers in Vinh Phuc Province. Tower is a part of the important art of pagoda. Together with pagoda, tower is a place for Buddhist worship in commeration and laying the bronze mortal remainings. The storeys of the Tower represent the step of leading to the religious life then to Nirvana of the bronze.

Among the remaining towers, Binh Son Tower is the highest one. Its pen name is Vinh Khanh Pagoda or The Pagoda (in Lap Thach now is Song Lo District). The Tower has 15 storeys as the legend. The old people here say on the top of the Tower, there is an unblosomed Lotus flower cubic made of terra cotta, which makes the Tower has a rising up form, very beautifull. At present time, the Tower has 11 storeys and 1 platform. It is 16.5m high in total. The Tower is a square, gradually small to its top. Its lowest door is 4.45m wide and the highest door is 1.55m. 13,200 terra cotta tiles construct the Tower with 2 types: the square type is 0.22 x 0.22, and the other is rectangular 0.45 x 0.22m. In the middle of the Tower is a small space from its platform to the top. Its outer is paved by the square tile, 0.46m each side. On the surface of these tiles, people carve the various beautifull patterns such as lemon flower, baynian leaf, lion plays with the ball, winding dragon etc…Normally, one tile is carved one pattern but in rare case, the pattern is carved on 2 or 4 jointed tiles. The decorative work is very precise, liberal and strong figure full of art vital force of the prospecious self-control feudalism regime of Ly-Tran Dynasty (XII-XIII centuries).

The recent study points out that the tile used to build the Tower is the tile of high

temperature burning. In order to erect vertically the tile on the Tower sides without

mortar, the brick maker produces the special tile. That is that, each tile has a notch and edge to hold each other. This method is applied to build the platform. The other tile is that each tile has a small hole of trapezium. Two tiles place together shall make a small hook then the building worker will pour the liquit lead into this hook for two tiles couple closely. This method is applied to build the foot of the Tower.

The foot of the Tower has many pedal belts of lotus flourwer, so the Tower looks imaginably as if it grown out from the big lotus flourwer. The second storey of the Tower is 2.27m high, 3.30m wide. Four sides have mason bee nets each and six vertical rectangulars. Each support has three round case on which is a embossed dragon carving. Body of the dragon is winding lying on the buttercup creeper. These embossed dragon cases are put into the sunken buttercup carving cases having a shape of a comma. These four mason bee net doors have eight rectangular cases each side. Each case is decorated by a five-storey small tower with the corona radiating to four directions. Out of the small towers, we can see the other embossed decoratives as baynian leave, daisy creeper, creeping flouwer. In the eighth storey, we can see the decoration of small tower. All the 11 storeys are decorated by various flouwer padals, lion playing with ball, winding baynian leave, lemon flouwer etc…Each storey we also can see the tile jutted out a little as a roof. According to the words of the old painter Nguyen Son (he is an ex-Vinh Khanh Pagoda keeper) and the old in the commune, each lower storey has a Goddess of Mercy statue.

The dragon decorated on Binh Son Tower is that of horn dragon and winding, its head is slipped in the middle, its feet trample out, its back has a serrated form, one of its front foot strokes its hair. The dragon play with the ball figure in the foot of the Tower is in simple decoration, no vignette on the bodies of the two dragons, they are plain dragons only. This pair of the dragons does not tuern their heads oppositely; does not raise their feet to play the ball as lie in other pagodas but one dragaon advances toward the ball and the other surpasses the ball, turns its head back and the ball is on his tail.

According to Bezacier, a colonian scholar supposed that the date of Binh Son Tower bearing “Art of Tai La”. It means that it belongs to the culture of Tang Dynasty imported to Viet Nam in the Kao Bien period (about VII century). Kao Bien is a mandarin governed Giao Chau prefecture. This standpoint wants to separate this masterpiece of art of grahic depict out of local culture and bearing a national disdainfulness, increasing the “civilization” of the invaders. Now a day, the researchers of the art of graphic depict of Viet Nam affirm that Binh Son Tower is the art works of Viet Nam, made by the hands and brain of Vietnamese people from the Ly-Tran Dynasty. The absolute date of the Tower is still a mysterious question needing the further study and attention of the researchers.

Song Lo (former is Lap Thach) people or visitors from far and wide when going from Xuan Hoa Town to Then river port to Phu Tho or from Then river port to Xuan Hoa then to Vinh Yen, even no time to visit Vinh Khanh Pagoda but spend some time to look at the Tower, the Tower exists nearly 1,000 years old but still maintaining the dazzling bright red of the terra cotta tile, no mossgrow and resound the gentle advice from bygone days.

 

SOME LEGENDS RELATE TO BINH SON TOWER

1. Thap Rice Field in Tu Yen Commune.

The elderly say the present Tower is build originally in the middle of Nau rice field, Yu Yen Commune. But for unknown reasons, only through a fierce storm and a very heavy rain night, the Tower suddently “jumps” to Tam Son Commune territory as it is now. At present, Tu Yen people call Nau field as Tower field.

2. A Golden Duck

Legend has it that once upon a time, in the West of the Tower has aonther green tower. One night, people living surrounding the tower heard a bang then the tower dispears. In the location of the collapsed tower, it becomes water well having a foot shape. Its heel turns to the Southwest and its water always changes color: when it is quite clear, when yellow, when red and when it is blue…The elderly also tell that in the bright moon night, a duck is swimming in the well. The well now exists, but no people in Tam Son Commune can see the goldem duck.

3. Story on Nguy Do Chiem

In the old time, near the Binh Son Tower is a market. A mother and a son, unknown reason from where to come, erect a hut to sell water under the baynian tree in the top of the market. Her son goes to school every day but on the way to his school, he hears vaguely from a distance “you are going to be happy”. He tells his mother that sentence. His mother brings betel, areca, and water to the Tower, then shr knees for cult. Suddently, three stones having the kitchen God figure drop from the top of the Tower. She brings the back the hut and makes up a three – legged stove. She heats and heats but the stones are still bright red, no soot blackened. 

After some time, some people who selling glue drop at her hut for drinking water. They keep looking at the Tower and the stones fo the stove. One of the guset asks her to give him the stones. In addition, if it is done, he will show her the best place to cover her mortal remaings husband. Right that night, she leads the guests to back her native village to bring her husband’s remains to burry in Hinh Nhan Hill at the foot of Sang Mountain. When she is at the point of death, she calls her son and tells him the old day guests told her that when you have flag, sword you have to go and cult before your father’s tomb. On the way there, meeting anything, any animal you have to kill it. When he is grown up, his name is Chiem. He always helps people so people are very kind of him. At the time, there is a gang of robbers. The robbers often maltreat the decent people there. Chiem gathers the young and go to the mountain to drill. At night, they take it in turn to guard the people. Chiem is elevated to the status of leader. Having flag and sword, he remembers his mother advice; Chiem goes to the mountain to cult his father’s tomb. When he just comes out of his hut, he meets a pregnant woman, who often helps his mother before; he could not dare to kill her. When going to the tomb, he sees two snakes. He thinks these are souls of his father and mother appeared, he dares not kill also. He puts away his sword and cults and go back.

On the next day, he mobilizes people going to the mountain to bring rock and lay on the road in Dong Que Commune. The road is made only one night. People do not know how many people to take part in this work, but they collect many loads of farmer’s pipe. Seeing that, a rascal refers to the mandarin that Chiem gathers troops to betray the Court. The Court dispatches its troops to fight him. However, when the troops go to Lap Thach, their elephants, horses neigh and do not go. They are forced to go back. Chiem’s name is stronger and stronger. The Court calls him Nguy Do Chiem. 

Some guests in the lod days live in China. They look at the astronomy and know that Chiem does not kill people, animal (if he kills people and animal, he can be a small mandarin but he has a well-off life for his whole life. As he does not kill people and animal, he can be a King the he can fight against the Chinese). Therefore, they find a solution to kill him. They meet and tell him that: “yuor farther’s and mother’s tombs thrive but insufficience of the dragon’s hand. To have it, you have to make a canal from Sang Mountain through their tombs. Chiem immediately make the canal. When completing the canal, he feels too exhausted while the Court troops come; the local troops and people are broken. Chiem carries his sword to come into the Tower and disappears.

4. The Observatory Station for Watching the French Motor Boat

 

During 1947-1948 years, on the top of Binh Son Tower has a big baynian tree. The old people say its roots go through the Tower down to the earth. A group of our gurinlar climbs the root upto the top of the Tower to view the motor boat of the French in order to inform their commander to fight them. Only the Tam Son people tell about this event, and it is not found in the Lap Thach history book. Anyway, we consider it as a folk legend of Binh Son Tower. 

5. Bac Cung Temple Festival

Every year when spring comes, Tam Hong people (Yen Lac District) organize festival in memory of Tan Vien Saint, a hero who cleared land and controlled flood in Hung King Dynasty, from the 6 through thr 15 of January Lunar days.

Legand has it that, Tan Vien Saint, his real name is Nguyen Tuan, a sone of a senior with his family name is Nguyen in Tay Son. When he is 6 years old, his mother and him live on Ma Thi Cao (a daughter of Ginie of Tan Vien Mountain). Nguyen Tuan goes to forest to cut wood and meets Thai Bach Ginie. As he is very handsome, the Ginie handsover a deity stick to him and teaches him magic words to serve people. He saves a child of Dragon King later, so the King offers him a book, in which he can know every mysterious thing in the world. Knowing that he is a pious man, his foster-mother offers him to govern everything in Tan Vien Mountain. When Hung King chooses My Nuong’s husband, Nguyen Tuan, thanks to the precious book and genie stick, seeks for a betrothal gifts to Water Ginie and marries Mi Nuong. Having defeated Water Ginie and Thuc enemy, Hung King deligates power to Nguyen Tuan but he refuses and asks the King for trvelling to serve the people. When passing by Tam Hong, he finds it is a charming landscape so he stops and teaches people how to plough and transplant rice, fishing and argricultural production. To memorize his merit, Tam Hong people build a Temple named Thinh Temple. As Thinh Temple is constructed in the North of Ba Vi Mountain and Red River Delta, so people call it Bac Cung Temple (one of the four Palaces to worship Tan Vien Ginie). Tan Vien Ginie is very wonder working. Each time people face the drough, flooded if they worship the Ginie, the favorable climate will come to help people. In the cold climate,  Ginie appears in the stream slot and carries the magical stick to remedy deases for the poor. Everywhere he comes, he lets the temples and thrines appear for his recreation. People see where a trace of temple, thrine has, people build temple or thrine for worship.

Coming back to Bac Cung today, stangding under thr roof of the old Temple we can enjoy a pretty cultural works built 20 centuries back. At first this Temple is only a snall thrine imprinting a place the Great King Nguyen Tuan’s coming and residence. Til the dynasty of Ly Nhan Tong King (10721128), it is built to become a temple for King to pray to God for longevity. Experiences by Tran, Le dynasties, Bac Cung gets more and more spacious. Under Ming Mang King (1820-1840), the Temple restored many times. Under Thanh Thai King, the District Chief of Yen Lac assigns Monk named Thanh At to restore the Temple. The restoration lasts six years (1900-1921) to complete. Going through risings and fallings, people maintain and preserve the Temple. Til 1992, Government recognizes it as National level historic relics. Every year,  Bac Cung Festival lasts from the 6 day after Tet to the end of January lunar day. In the worship part, Tam Hong people carry palanquin from Phu Luu, Man De, Tao Phu, Nho Lam to the Temple. Each vllage has a sacefice board, including head sacreficer, East and West sacreficer; sacrifice manservant, and servant and halberd carriers. The sacreficer head must be over 60 years old, and the man has sons and daughters. The sacrifice offerings must have boiled pig head, sticky rice tray, and flouwers and fruits. The sacreficer head shall be on behalf of the villarge people offers incents, water, alcohol, offerings and reads a wring to ask the Ginie Tan Vien Mountain for timely rains and favourable weather, abundant crops, people’s prosperity.

After the worship part comes to the festival. Bac Cung festival organizes many folk games: cock fighting, wrestle, chess, swing, and drag on, volleyball, folk singing and performances, drum roll. Local people and visitors from every corner of the country come to Bac Cung festival are numerous, about millions of people, to ask for peace and happiness. Each time Tam Hong people go far away or the young go to higher education will bring offerings to the Temple for cult for the Saint support. By its historic, cultural and spirit value is tightly connected with many aspects of the people’s life under the old Van Lang, back to more than 2,000 years, of Hung King Dynasty. Tan Vien Mountain Ginie is connected closely with the legend of Water and Mountain Ginies. As a cradle of water rice agricultural production, Bac Cung festival is not only a form of cultural and spiritual activity aiming at preserving and promoting the traditional cultural value of our country but also a valuable place for visitor to come and enjoy the community culture between the local people and the outsiders.

6. Tho Tang Pagoda

The Pagoda is in Tho Tang town, Vinh Tuong District and built in XVII century. Years and months passed, but Tho Tang Pagoda preserves rather its original about the architecture existed under the later Le dynasty.

The Pagoda cults a well-known general named Lan Ho. Lan Ho defeats the Mongolian enemy in XIII century. Legend has it that, following King’s Order, Lan Ho leads his troops to Giai Ninh region (now is a zone of Phu Tho Province) to make a front and arrange a battle. He commands his troops to fight heroically and wipe out the enemy safeguarding Thang Long capital. By present, along the strip land from Duc My-Son Vi (Phu Tho Province) through Vinh Tuong-Yen Lac (Vinh Phuc Province) has a system of Lan Ho historic vestiges. Tho Tang is a center for organizing the festival with many a items of folk performnces and customs to remember Lan Ho and the war against the out invaders under Tran dynasty.

Tho Tang Temple is constructed with a large scale. There are two buildings with architecture under the form of “Ting” (a Chinese word). The great Temple has five rooms, two support offices and six rows of pillars. Its harem has two rooms. There are sixty pillars in the Temple. The pillars are made of the best wood. The main pillar has its diameter of 0.80m; the small pillars have their diameter of 0.61m. The ground of the Temple is 25.80 x 14.20m, binding the green stone around the ground. Its structure is under the form of four main pillars and strong reinforcement.

There are twenty-one wooden boards with precise carvings. These boards are easily seen at the body bands, support bars, etc… these carvings reflect a rich consequences of life: working-trading-enjoying of our agricultural working people under the middle prosperous Ly dynasty. These carving are put in order as above consequence. When coming into the front of the Temple, we can see the “field working festival” then “wild beast firing” to safeguard the crops. The entertaiments have “kicking ball” “playing chess” “drinking alcohol” “dancing”. Family activities have “young couple talking in confidence” and “happy family”. Critisings have “making a scense of jeeajousy”, “a lasy couple”. On worships have “nine dragons fight over the pearl”, “eight fairies over the sea” and many other figures of dragons, phoenixes.

Tho Tang Temple is one of the top of fine art of wooden carving under the later Le dynasty, is the first national assorted vestige of Vinh Phuc Province. For recent decades, the Temple is attracted the researchers to further study and propose the solutions for preservation of the Temple.

7. Huong Canh Pagoda  

Huong Canh Pagoda is constructed in the later Le dynasty (XVII century). This is a huge pagoda with the skilful sculpture.

 Huong Canh Temple, togetrher with Ngoc Canh, Tien Canh and Kinh Phuc pagodas (all tese pagodas are assorted the national vestiges), and many others thrines, joss-houses built in a rather small area of the potery Huong Canh commune, creates a densy vestiges cluster, unique of the folk wooden sculpture, preciously in the delta of the Northern inland region.

The Temple is in the middle of the commune, the Temple, through nearly 300 years, stands as to challenge the years and months, and weather conditions. The Temple seems to show to the nature its huge roof, but nice and charm. Using the toe-like tile, the mason group of Huong Canh Commune skillfully arranges under the form of “dragon fin”, tighly and plainly. Its rooftop is straight, its two head is curved up. Others heads also curve up make the whole Pagoda roofs as a clossal kite. For this reason, the Temple is huge but light and charming. In the old days, the Temple had three old architectural buildings and constructed accoding to the form of “Wáng” (a Chinese word). Until 1964, people dismaled the last building so there are two buildings now: the pre-woship and the sanctum. The pre-worship building has three rooms, two storeys and eight roofs. The sanctum has five rooms, two wings. It is  26m long and 13.50m wide, four roofs. To support the very heavy roof, the building workers at the time built a very strong frame. The sanctum has six pillar rows with 48 pillars of the best variety wood. The main pillar has its circumference of 2.40m, 6.00m high; the small pillars have their circumference of 1.80m and 4m high. The skilfullness of the workers is that they they not only made the knotches tightly but also calculated to devide equally the weight for balance (if not it would be turn up side down). Each part of the Temple has to bear itself a certain weight, so the horizon or vertical beams have to bind under the manner of dragging the weight toward the top of the pillar. How was skilfull to calculate such method!

The Temple does not use four main pillars as some other temples. People construct this Temple by using pillars with bar on the top so its roof are supported strongly. It can be said that every item to build the Temple is arranged approciately. These items have to “work” with high efficiency. To raise a set of heavy sword in a corner of the Temple, they have to connect to six horizon and vertical beams.

In Vietnamese language, the huge and majesty of the temple are used to make comparision with the very important event, such as “as huge as temple pillar”, or

Looking at the roof when passing by the temple

How many tiles covered, how much the love for you!

Such is Huong Canh Temple!

As mentioned above, the Temple is colossal but not heavy and a very fine carving. Any top jutted, the worker carved on it precisely and skillfully to make them become the fine art works. Especially, the carvings on the boards are no words to express. It is really a masterpiece. With 19 carving boards deviding into 6 decorative subjects, which make the Temple more majestic and charming. Among them are Cungfu, wrestle, rowing, wine and poetry, coming back from hunting, riding dragon, burying mortal remains in the mouth of dragon, eight fairies etc…These are rediced pictures of the village festivals, which reflecting a part of daily life of the people under the middle prosperous Le dynasty.

The Temple reaches a high level of architecture of wooden carving, so the Temple is not only an address for the reaserchers to study and attention but also a red addres fro people to visit and enjoy.  

 

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