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Duc La Pagoda is located in Tri Yen Commune, Yen Dung District, Bac Giang Province. Duc La Pagoda was built in the 12th century, was a centre of the Truc Lam Trinity (King Tran Nhan Tong, Phap Loa and Huyen Quang monks) who opened a school of Buddhist preaching and established the Truc Lam religious sect.
From the Bac Giang City, a crooked red soil trail runs off Route 13, just past Tan An Commune, let to Duc La Pagoda, also known as Vinh Nghiem Tu (80km north of Hanoi).
The pagoda is situated in an area of rolling hills. In the background is the Co Tien Mountain range and to the left are the batiks of the Luc River. Further away is the Thuong River which converges with the Luc River to form the Phuong Nhon Junction. In front of the pagoda are vast rice-fields dotted with villages and hamlets hidden behind green bamboo groves. Looming in the distance is the 99 Nham Bien Mountain range, wrapped in a poetic and mystical air.
The third area is the two-roofed bell tower and the fourth is the second ancestral shrine hosting two statues symbolic of the art of sculpture in the Nguyen Dynasty.
Over 700 years have elapsed but all four architectural structures remain intact. Duc La Pagoda remains a major training centre of Buddhism with wooden shelves for the printing of Buddhist sutras still conserved as evidence of the important role of the pagoda.
The local authorities and people have maintained the complex well, making the area an eternal sanctuary of the Vinh Nghiem Buddhist sect.
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