Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The original area of Hương Sơn Landscape Complex – home to 21 pagodas and dozens of grottoes in local mountains of Mỹ Đức District, Hà Nội – will remain unchanged amidst the development of tourism infrastructure, local authorities confirmed at a recent meeting held by Hà Nội authorities.
Nguyễn Văn Hoạt, chairman of Mỹ Đức District People’s Committee, said the body has sent a report to the city on the master plan to develop a spiritual tourism site covering 3,900ha in four communes of the district.
“We have discussed with interested enterprises to invest in the neighbouring area and not touch the Hương Pagoda Complex,” he said.
He also mentioned a project by Xuân Trường construction enterprise in the southeast area of Hương Sơn Complex.
“The project covers the side of a mountain between Hương Sơn, Tam Chúc and Khả Phong communes,” Hoạt said. “The project deals mostly in improving the natural landscape on a total area of 1,500ha.”
“We have followed the decision by the Government to preserve the natural values of the landscape relic site following the Heritage Law and limit the affects of tourists on the landscape,” he said.
He confirmed the untouchable area is the core of the site with 21 ancient pagodas and grottos.
According to the master plan, six development projects involving at Mỹ Đức spiritual tourism site will be implemented in the next few years including the renovated Hương Sơn area on 20ha and the Festival Hương Sơn project on 172ha.
An eco-tourism resort complex on 150ha by Thái Bình Dương Group has also been approved by Hà Nội’s authorities, along with the Hương Bình Cable system on connecting Hương Sơn (Hà Nội) and Tiên Pagoda (Hòa Bình Province) and the Mỹ Đức Cemetary Park project on 27.8ha.
Hoạt said the Hương Pagoda festival, one of the most crowded pilgrimage events in the north. It starts on the sixth day of the first lunar year (February 10 this year) and lasts for three month. This year’s edition will be the first event at the site since it was recognised as a Special National Relic Site last year.
“The festival is a civilised and effective event,” he said.
Nearly 400 locals will offer tourism services at the site during the festival, with 4,000 boats and nearly 400 stalls for tourists.
Hương Sơn Landscape Complex is home to various mountains on rivers, where dozens of pagodas dedicated to the Buddha were built many years ago.
In 1770, Lord Trịnh Sâm visited the site and ordered five words carved on Hương Tích Grotto: “Nam Thiên Đệ Nhất Động” (“the most beautiful grotto in the country”).
The site is located 62km southwest of Hà Nội’s centre. Thousands of tourists and Buddhists travel visit every spring to admire natural landscape and visit the religious sites. — VNS