Bo Da pagoda is located on Bo Da Mountain, Tien Son commune, Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province. This land is where the charming natural scenery with winding rivers, peaceful villages. Almost all the scenery and the creatures seem to be in fairyland, being very suitable to sightseeing in early Lunar New Year.
Bo Da is a sacred ancient pagoda built in the Ly Dynasty, in XII century, located on Bo Da Mountain, in Tien Son commune, Viet Yen district. It was enlisted as Special National Monument. On average, around 200-300 buddists and visitors from all around the country come to Bo Da pagoda everyday to pray and visit.
Together with Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, Bo Da pagoda is the major Buddhist center of Bac Giang belonging to Truc Lam Zen Buddhism. There are worshipping statues of Truc Lam Zen’s three Patriarchs (including Tran Nhan Tong, Phap Loa and Huyen Quang). There had been the place that the three Patriarchs openned buddhism center, indoctrinated and trained many Buddhist clergies.
Visitors will see the Buddhist scriptures engraved on the most ancient (diospyros decandra) wood in Vietnam, they were arranged on 8 wood bookshelves, each shelf has four books with a combination of 240 wooden sheets, total all is about 2000 sheets. Each engraved wood plate is 50cm long, 25 cm wide and 2.5cm thick. Chinese characters of Buddhist scriptures are highlight skillful engraved, and still clear until now without any worn out sign of time.
Bo Da pagoda possesses many special architectural and spiritual features, with the surface of over 50.000m2, including the main pagoda (Tu Am pagoda) and the two temples honoring Saint Hoa and Saint ThachTuong. The precinct of the pagoda is divided into 3 sections: the Inner Pagoda, the tower garden and the evergreen fruiter garden.
The first thing that impresses visitors is the 300-year-old wall built from soil, which is 1,5 meters tall and 0,5 meter thick surrounding the pagoda.
After going through three mossy tiled gates with a touch of Le dynasty architecture, we arrive at the Inner pagoda. Visitors will be surprised by a variety of potteries lined beside a unique brick wall adorned with tiles and terracotta vases. According to His Venerable Tuc Vinh, Abbot of Bo Da pagoda, this pagoda retains many valuable documents and objects.
Besides the Buddha statues in Truc Lam sect concept, the pagoda also keeps many scripts, documents, calligraphy characters, parallel sentences and incense-tables, etc. More exceptionally, it is also home to the most ancient set of Buddhist scripture (which is around 300 years old), carved on over 2.000 persimmon wood panels, all in perfect condition.
Coming to Bo Da pagoda, visitors also have a chance to pray and enjoy the wonder of around 100 towers lined up in a strict hierarchy according to the regulations of hien Tong sect. Only the ashes of Lam Te sect monastic can be kept in these towers.
A well-known celebration related to this pagoda is Bo Da festival, celebrated from the 15th to 18th day of the second month in lunar calendar. This festival forms a spiritual and cultural space in this sacred place. The highlight in this festival is the Quan Ho (a traditional form of music) show, where the singers from different villages in the area meet and make acquaintances.
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