Perfume Pagoda Festival

The Perfume Pagoda (Huong Pagoda) is a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. It is the site of a religious festival which draws large numbers of pilgrims from across Vietnam. The centre of the Huong Temple located in Huong Son Commune, My Duc District, former Ha Tay Province, the right side of Day River. The centre of this complex is the Perfume Temple lies in Huong Tich Cave.

Every year, when the spring comes, millions of people from all over Vietnam would travel to Ha Noi to take part in one of the country’s most elaborate festivals to welcome the Lunar New Year. Traditionally celebrated from the 6th day of the first month to the end of the third month in reference to the Vietnamese Lunar Calendar, this year’s Huong Pagoda Festival officially opened on February 2, 2017. A Vietnamese custom, a pilgrimage to Huong Pagoda is said to bring health, prosperity, good luck and happiness. A mix of about 500,000 pilgrims and tourists flocked the temple on the first day alone. Known as the longest and largest festival in Vietnam, the main festival days yet will begin on the 15th of the second lunar month and would last on the 20th day of the same month. On this special occasion, a wide range of traditional cultural activities is incorporated. Perfume pagoda is not only a religious site, but a great sight- seeing spot in Vietnam as well. Below are some places of interest in Huong Son Heritage Site.

 Pier Duc (Bến Đục)

The very first starting point of the pilgrimage is Pier Duc. During the annual festival months, Ben Duc is packed with thousands of row boats used for shuttling visitors. For many visitors, this one-hour boat ride on the Yen Vi Stream from Pier Duc is actually the highlight of the trip, and inspiration sources of quite a few famous poets.

The Sunset in Pier Duc

Yen stream (Suối Yến)

Yen stream flows between two mountains for 3 kilometers. Nevertheless, sitting on the boat, leisurely enjoying the surrounding landscape, you may feel that the stream is endless. This is also the only fairway that tourists can go sightseeing in Huong Pagoda.

While traveling along Yen Stream, tourists can easily see on the left the Phoenix Mountain, and Doi Cheo Mountain. Also on the left are Bung and Voi, the two mountains associated with interesting legends. To the right is Ngu Nhac Mountain with the Trinh Temple where visitors stop and burn incense for the God of the Mountain. Before reaching Tro Wharf where the tour begins, the boat also passes by the Deo and Phong Su Mountains, Son Thuy Huu Tinh Cave, Trau Cave, Hoi Bridge, and Dau Valley.

The Beauty of Yen Stream

Thien Tru Pagoda (Chùa Thiên Trù)

This is the second stop, after Den Trinh that the tourists get over before climbing up to Huong Mount. Thien Tru Pagoda located on the Lao Mountain, was built in the 18th century under King Le Thanh Tong dynasty. Thien Tru Pagoda is famous for Thuy Tien tower, a granite monolith. On the right is Tien Son grotto, popular for five granite statues and various formations on the walls of the cave. Coming here, pilgrims have chances to admire the pagoda’s beauty and wonderful local landscapes. Nowadays, with a unique architectural ensemble, Thien Tru becomes the center of Huong Son landscape.

Thien Tru Pagoda via flycam

Huong Tich Grotto (Động Hương Tích)

Huong Tich Cave is the final destination, after climbing the mountain for a long time, the pilgrims step in the cave and feel like in the Elysium on earth.

Huong Tich cave is compared with the mouth of a dragon that is extremely large and very deep. Stalactite called Dun Gao, located in the center, near the entrance, like the tongue in the dragon's mouth. Deep inside the cave, there are also many stalactites. Huong Tich Cave has become a place of worship of Huong Heritage. The temple in this cave has many precious statues, especially the "Goddess of Mercy" statue with blue stone, carved in the Tay Son Canh Thinh dynasty.

Huong Tich Cavern

We hope that tourists willhave a good holiday in Vietnam on Tet Holiday Festival. Enjoy the atmosphere of Spring which is the most wonderful season in Vietnam.

Further readings