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Mao Dien Literature Temple, Tue Tinh worshipping relics seek special national relic title
  2/8/2017 5:50:09 PM
Mao Dien Temple of Literature and relics worshipping Great Famous Physician, Zen Master Tue Tinh are precious cultural heritage always treasured in Cam Giang district (Hai Duong).


If being recognized as a special national relic, Mao Dien Temple of Literature will
 further promote its historical and cultural value

Presently, the district authorities are trying to turn this complex of historical relics and artistic architectures into a special national relic site.

Special value

Mao Dien Temple of Literature is located in Mau Tai hamlet, Cam Dien commune. Apart from Confucius, eight famous people passing major examinations are also worshipped there.

Under the Le dynasty, this was one of the country's cultural and educational centers where many prefectural examinations were held.

The temple of literature is also a place honoring the learning valuing tradition of the Eastern province.

The relic, built in the early period of the Later Le dynasty (15th century), is a beautiful structure. Its main part consists of two large parallel buildings, bai duong and hau cung (front and back buildings), constructed close together with seven compartments. On their sides are two rows of five-compartment giai vu (roofed houses) opposite each other.

The relics worshipping Great Famous Physician, Zen Master Tue Tinh comprise Xua temple (in Nghia Phu hamlet, Cam Vu commune), Giam pagoda (in hamlet 2, Cam Son commune), and Bia temple (in Van Thai hamlet, Cam Van commune). These places mark the life and career of Great Famous Physician Tue Tinh.

Xua temple was built in the native land of Great Famous Physician Tue Tinh in the Later Le dynasty (17th century) and then restored in the Nguyen dynasty. The temple has five tien te (front worship hall) compartments built in parallel with three hau cung compartments.

Giam pagoda, whose Sino-Vietnamese name is Quang Nghiem pagoda, dates from the 17th century and covers nearly 1 ha. There are two tam quan (three-door gates), a tien duong (front house), a thuong dien (central chamber) worshipping Buddha, and a hau dien (back shrine) worshipping ancestors, in which there are a statue of Tue Tinh and a cuu pham lien hoa (nine-tier lotus-shaped) tower.

There remain a lot of valuable antiquities at the pagoda, such as a system of Arhat and Buddha statues, two big bronze bells, and 15 stone stelae dating back to the 17th - 19th centuries.

Built in the Le dynasty, Bia temple still retains a stone stele from the Le dynasty with inscriptions composed and engraved by Doctor Nguyen Danh Nho (1639-1699), a fellow-countryman of Tue Tinh, in 1669 when he was sent to China as the King's envoy.

Urgent completion of dossier

Over the past years, Cam Giang district authorities have had suitable directions and ways to preserve and promote the cultural and historical value of these relics.

At Mao Dien Temple of Literature, 14 doctoral stelae have been restored, and a system of worshipping objects has been re-arranged, making the temple solemn. Roads within the temple's precinct have been renovated, the road to the relic has been enlarged, and a parking lot has been constructed.

The inner zone of Bia temple has been renovated, the parking lot has been expanded, a water pavilion in which a stele on the biography and career of Great Famous Physician Tue Tinh is placed has been repaired, many Vietnamese traditional medicinal herbs have been planted in the relic, etc.

Besides, the district authorities are actively coordinating with the Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (CST) and the Department of Cultural Heritage (CST Ministry) to urgently complete a dossier requesting recognition of the complex of historical relics and artistic architectures, consisting of the relics worshipping Great Famous Physician, Zen Master Tue Tinh and Mao Dien Temple of Literature, as a special national relic site.

The District People's Committee (DPC), the CST Department, and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment have jointly zoned the relic site and defined adjacent areas to work out a protection plan.

The DPC has assigned specialized divisions and boards to collaborate with officials of the Department of Cultural Heritage to directly survey the relics and provide additional materials related to the history, architecture, and value of the relics so that the survey will be conducted objectively and effectively.

"The district authorities must submit the dossier to the CST Ministry before August 30, 2017 as prescribed. The DPC will create the best conditions for the appraisal team to carry out an initial survey and perfect the dossier," said Ha Quang Thanh, Head of the Cam Giang District Relic Management Unit.

However, at present, some items at Giam pagoda have deteriorated. A lot of ironwood pillars in the hau cung of Mao Dien Temple of Literature have been holed through their centers by termites and woodborers.

The DPC has made a request, and the CST Department has approved a repair plan. In the immediate future, only important items can be remodeled, and the rest will be repaired later to basically preserve the status quo of the relics for the survey team to work.

The recognition of the complex of historical relics and artistic architectures as a special national relic site will be very significant to Cam Giang district in particular and Hai Duong province in general.

It is not only the recognition of the cultural and historical value of the relics but also an opportunity to preserve and further promote the cultural value, develop tourism, and contribute to local socio-economic development. And with the efforts of the district over the past time, the destination is not far away.

TAM PHUC
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