Exploring Huong Tich Cave in Perfume Pagoda
The Hanoitimes - The Huong Tich Cave has become the largest shrine of the Perfume Pagoda. The pagoda has many precious statues, especially the statue of Buddha Guan Yin made from green stone.
Huong Tich is a beautiful cave, and the heart of Huong Son relic complex (My Duc district, Hanoi).
The cave and the mountain has the shape like a princess dragging her mouth open. In front of the gate there is a stone tablet carved by artists from Nam Dinh province from 1914 to 1918. This stone tablet looks down to Chau Chau and Ba Lo Mountain. The name Chau Chau came from the valley in which a small mountain is located in the middle in the shape of a pearl, so the people call the valley Thung Chau (Ngoc).
Crossing the stone gate, visitors descend a slope with 120 steps leading down the creek. In the third year of the Tiger (1770), Lord Trinh Sam visited the cave and left his writings naming the cave as "Nam Thien de nhat dong" - the most beautiful cave in the Southern sky. Under the writings of Lord Trinh there are four large letters Amitabha Buddha and next to it is a chisel (engraved on the cliff) talking about the Buddhist scriptures with beautiful and clear lines.
Inside the cave, there is a statue of Buddha Guan Yin made of blue stone carved under the Tay Son period in the 18th century and thousands of stalactites undulating with strange shapes such as: Bau Sua Me (Mom’s Breast), Hoa Phien Nao, Dun Gao (Mound of Rice), Dun Tien (Mound of Money), Nui Cau, Nui Co, Cay Vang, Cay Bac, etc. There are also "road to heaven" and "down to hades".
The Huong Tich Cave is like a large dragon jaw wide open. The stalactite called the Dun Gao is located in the middle, near the entrance, like the tongue in the mouth of the dragon. In the heart, stalactites on the ceiling and rising from the floor resemble many things, giving way to imagination. It was as if the ancients had brought these things here to play with, and kept them forever for the next generations. The stalactites are in the shapes of mother pigs, piglets, strawberry, rice thistle, grapefruit fruit, silver tree, yellow tree, sausage and Buddha...
The Huong Tich Cave has become the largest shrine of the Perfume Pagoda. The pagoda has many precious statues, especially the statue of Buddha Guan Yin made from green stone, carved in the second year of Tay Son Canh Thinh (1793). The statue was designed by Nguyen Huy Nhat. There is a large bronze bell called "Bao Dai Huong Tich dong chung" (Bell of Bao Dai Pagoda), installed in 1655.
The Huong Tich Cave is also famous for the legendary story of Ba Ba. She was the king's daughter who was expelled from the celestial kingdom down to earth. Over the difficulties and challenges, the Emperor Jade Emperor thought it over and installed her in the Huong Tich Cave.