Through studying about cultural heritages in Yen Bai province, it is known that Hac Y relic (a big scale Buddhist architectural complex built in Tran dynasty, 13th - 14th century) is related closely to a famous person of Tran dynasty, Prince and General Tran Nhat Duat.
Up to now, Hac Y relic has been excavated through 6 times and ruins of pagoda and tower buildings and various objects have been found in Luc Yen district.
Besides, more pagoda and tower ruins said to belong to Tran dynasty have been also discovered such as Pu Tre hill (Van Chan district) and the latest Doi Chua hill (Yen Binh district).
A path to Doi Chua
In mid September 2013, VNMH and Yen Bai Museum did a research in Doi Chua and its buffer zone.
First results show that Doi Chua relic can be a mound in 3m - 5m height, in the left side of Red River. It is surrounded by old streams like Ngoi Dai and Van Lang, which came from Thac Ba waterfall and met in Doi Chua before running to Red River.
Old Van Lang stream
Where Ngoi Dai and Van Lang stream met
We can say this old building was made in good feng shui location. As it was affected by Red River flow and streams but it has never been flooded.
Doi Chua mound is presently almost fallow, covered by bamboo, tea and grass. For a long time ago, local people have collected many terracotta materials and a big quantity has been used for a hill dam.
Old materials we found
Some construction materials have been collected and kept in Van Lang’s People Committee and some more new have been found, including bricks, tiles and decorative materials.
- The construction materials said to be under Tran dynasty are tiles and brick pieces, mainly used for architectural decoration and made of fine clay and in bright red color, typical characteristics of Tran. A considerable quantity is construction materials including lotus, dragon and bodhi leaf blocks.
Block in lotus shape
- The second type of materials dated 17th - 18th century found less than the above quantity, including big size and thick bricks, dark red color tiles. Noticeably, such materials are mainly used for pagoda construction.
The big size and thick brick
Through such findings and local tellers, we can say that this is an architectural ruin under Tran dynasty, possibly a worshipping tower. After this tower had been damaged in 17th – 18th century, a new pagoda was built. Nevertheless, how this pagoda existed is still a question.
In the coming time, VNMH and Yen Bai Museum will continue the research in terms of relic clearance, soil test and preparing documents to propose for a project of study and excavation.
Dr. Nguyễn Văn Đoàn - Deputy Director
Lê Văn Chiến (Collection Dept)
English: Tran Trang