Lying on PhượngHoàng (Phoenix) Mountain and facing Cau River, BổĐà Pagoda in Tien Son commune, Viet Yen district, the northern province of Bac Giang, is among the most major centre of Truc Lam Zen Buddhism.

The pagoda was built in the 11th century, under the Ly dynasty but badly damaged during wars in subsequent centuries. Not until the Le dynasty under King Le Du Tong (1705 – 1728) was the pagoda reconstructed and more or less retains the shape it has today.

Compared to other pagodas in northern Vietnam, Bo Da is unique for its architecture. It appears to be a closed complex from the outside yet features hundreds of compartments that all open into one another on the inside. The special structure provides visitors with a sacred, secluded refuge from the outside world.

The pagoda is also home over 2,000 Sutra woodblocks, arranged in eight bookcases. To date, hardly any of them have ruined.

Bo Da pagoda was recognized as Vietnam’s special national relic site in 2016.-VNA