Echo from Western Yen Tu spiritual mountain

Talking about Western Yen Tu spiritual mountain (Yen Dung, Luc Nam, Luc Ngan, Son Dong) is to compare with Eastern Yen Tu area, which includes districts and towns of Chi Linh (Hai Duong), Dong Trieu, Uong Bi (Quang Ninh). The intersection point of these two cultural areas is Dong temple in Yen Tu mountain.

Most tourists know about Eastern Yen Tu mountain for a long time, but Western Yen Tu with the position of geographical - cultural area has just been aroused, discovered and visited for about ten years, especially after the spiritual road (provincial road 293) from Bac Giang city to Dong Thong (Son Dong) was commenced for construction. Moreover, it is also necessary to emphasize the characteristics of Western Yen Tu geographical - cultural area with the start from famous Vinh Nghiem ancient temple and the connection from the two roads: Spiritual road 293 (Suoi Mo, Mai Suu, Dam Tri, Deo But, Tuan Mau, Dong Thong) and road 31 (Doi Ngo, Kim, Chu, Bien Dong, An Chau, Dong Thong)

Western Yen Tu Buddhism cultural area lies in a spacious area, next to Vinh Nghiem temple group are 130 relic places, including 26 provincial and national relics. In this article, we focus on surveying Western Yen Tu Buddhism cultural area along provincial road 293. Along this road, after visiting Vinh Nghiem ancient temple, tourists will stop to visit Suoi Mo pagoda, cross Mai Suu to go straight to Dong Thong ecological tourist area, then climb a slope of about 4km to Dong temple, Yen Tu spiritual mountain. Along the road from Luc Nam town to Yen Tu mountain foot are many vestiges of man and life of the old time. The most ancient group of relics here is Suoi Mo pagoda, which worships Que My Nuong princess, daughter of 9th King Hung Dinh Vuong, who deserved well of cultivating Son Khe land after integrated with the religion of worshipping Mother Goddess and Mountain Blessed Virgin. At the door of Ha pagoda remains a banyan tree and two bombax ceibas which have just recognized as the national heritage. History also recognized and the reality shows that Tong Lenh village (Truong Giang commune) worships Than Canh Phuc - Vu Cong Thanh tycoons and Ly dynasty princess (the 11th century).

Legend has it that this area used to be the place where Tran Quoc Tuan set headquarters to fight against Nguyen Mong invaders (the 13th century) and left such places as Ba Dinh, Bay Nen, Bai Quan Ngua, sword practice ground. Especially, this place has the wall of Mac family (the 16th century_ of 18km long from Bao Dai mountain, across Luc Nam river, Vuon village, Ho Nuoc, Han Lam pagoda to Mang mountain foot of Huyen Dinh - Yen Tu mountain range. Tourists go along provincial road 293 in Quynh village (Nghia Phuong commune) and look the other side of the field can see the vague signs of the ancient wall. It can be said that since the 16th century, following Mac dynasty, population of this mountain has increased considerably, forming many villages along valleys, fields, streams, leaving many temples, pagodas and palaces. According to old people, at the beginning of the century, there were many famous large temples and pagodas in Dum, Gang, Doi Son, Nhan Ly, Dam Tri villages.

Dam Tri temple (Luc Son) is in the ending commune of Luc Nam district, near Yen Tu mountain foot. About forty years ago, in the war against the US, Regiment 568 does military training among forests and mountains to take recruits to the South every some months. No one can believe that this "godforsaken" place has such an ancient temple. More than two years ago (2014), the provincial museum coordinates with the Institute of Archaeology to exploit and discover more than two thousand antiques (construction materials, architectures and decorations with earthenware, enamel pottery, brown terracotta, pieces of tiles of shoe tip shape, statues of animals, ), determine that Dam Tri temple was dated from Ly - Tran dynasties and was repaired, improved many times in Le, Nguyen dynasties.

In 1996, Sinologist Nguyen Van Phong (known as Doctor of Philosophy, Deputy Director of the province Museum), a village man and I went along the versant of Western Yen Tu to visit Ho Thien temple. This trip is taken because I used to hear from villagers a story about Ho Thien temple. In order to "witness" it, one day, we brought rice, pot and bush-whackers to go. We cross a lot of streams. It was in the dry season; butterflies moved up and down. The two sides of forests are many worm woods, myrtles which are higher than our heads, as well as bamboos, neohouzeauas The path is only fit with vehicles headed by buffalos and cows, then it is smaller among the jungle.

At that night, we put up a tent to sleep in the ravine. In the next morning, we went along the path with small bamboos; it was easy to go on. In the afternoon, we crossed Bong ground. Then we saw man tracks of tents, straw glass covers, sandalwood hills and green jackfruits. After going for some minutes, we crossed the thin forest and a ravine and came to a ruin called Ho Thien Temple (Tru Phong temple). It was gloomy and a bit cold in the afternoon. We visited all and found a stone tower of about seven or eight floors, many brick towers, small steles with the name of the Buddhist priest at the beginning of the 19th century, green stone bars arranged to be door steps, lined stone pillars and some large trees growing in the middle of the floor. The above is the house for stone steles which are as big as the table surface, engraved with Han transcripts. If I am not wrong, this was compiled by Nguyen Binh in the 16th century.

Around it are many thistles laden with fruits and banana trees which become banana forest. Many trees are very big. A pine has just been cross-cut sawed; its root is large enough for six people to sit on. After that, it was said that the group of people cutting the ancient pine were arrested. We took a lot of photos. Mr. Phong caught frogs but he could not catch any. At the end of fall, frogs find their refuges. At that night, we had dinner with roasted groundnuts, forest bananas and thistles. All were vegetarian food. We slept in a stone cave, next to the fire. We talked to each other until late, then slept fitfully in the sound of forest wind, of a chameleon and a bird from a distance. We also dreamt and imagined of an old bronze going from the ravine and the temple yard.

Spiritual road 293 opened a new opportunity for Western Yen Tu Buddhism Spiritual Mountain. Nowadays, tourists can experience Western Yen Tu by many ways depending on their interest, time and condition. About two or three years later, when Dong Thong ecological tourist area is officially opened, when Dong Thong - Dong temple suspension cable is completed, when the temple festival is opened, the spiritual echo from the Western Yen Tu Buddhism Spiritual Mountain will be farther and farther