One of the biggest caves on the top of the Water Mountain in NguHanh Son Tourist Area, HuyenKhong is the most beautiful, mysterious one with the great value of spirit.
The beauty of mystery:
From Tam Thai pagoda, turning left to the path and then going straight, you will meet the gate with three Vietnamese ancient characters “HuyenKhongQuan” and the big lady Buddha statue, the goddess of mercy, in the cave of HoaNghiem. Taking a vase (named Cam Lo) on her hand with merciful eyes, she solemnly stands forward to the gate. On the wall on her left, an ancient stone stele “Pho Da Son LinhTrungPhat” is very precious, it was set up by the monk with Buddhist name “Hue Dao Minh” in 1640, the year of “Canh Thin” (following lunar calendar, Canh is Yang and Diamond; Thin is dragon). It tells that Buddhists, especially people from Japan, China living in Hoi An port collected donated money for building pagoda.
To enter HuyenKhong, you will step down about 20 steps; and its’ floor is below 5 meters to HoaNghiem cave’s floor. Mr. Hoa, a local guide, said that the shape of this cave looks like an up-side down bell. It is one of the ventilating and most beautiful ones in this cluster of five mountains; its’ dome is exposed outer space, and the sunlight get through from the five vents to the bottom and accidentally, these create mysterious scenery. On sunny days, the cave is considered as a natural air conditioner because of cooling fresh air from this place. This feature also makes HuyenKhong different with other caves in Ha Long bay or PhongNhaKe Bang (PhongNha – Ke Bang National Park) because there,most caves are largely sealed, moisture, and used electricity system.
With the perimeter of 25 meters, Huyenkhong is set up with various Buddhist and Confucian shrines, from down stair, the two pairs of administrative and military Mandarin statues are both sides. These four statues remind us that we should live in a good way, and be merciful to forward the Nirvana of Buddha.
The biggest Buddha statue above, Sakyamuni, situated on the opposite side of the entrance, was carved by the famous craftsman (Nguyen Chat) from Carving -Marble village in 1960. The altar of “Dia Tang Vuong Bo Tat” (the most powerful Buddha in the hell) is below Sakyamuni statue; the shrine of “Ngoc Phi” (the goddess of wealth) on the left - where people pray for wealth, and the shrine of “Loi Phi” (the goddess of Mountain and forests) on the right-where people pray for health and peace.
“TrangNghiemTu”, the small Dignified ancient temple, on the right of the entrance to HuyenKhong cave, built in 1825, consists of 3 parts: the main part at the middle, in which lady Buddha is worshipped, on the left three saints “Quan Cong” “QuanBinh” and “ChauXuong” , symbolizing for righteousness, intelligence together with courage, and Loyalty; especially, the right part is the altar of “Mr. To and Mrs. Nguyet” (the Hymen), where the young couple wish to live forever or pray for kids.
Many small stalactites on the wall around the cave create lots of natural shapes, such as an old man’s face looked tilt, a crane or an ostrich, two elephant heads with trunks down, the stork with a long pointy beak stick into the cliff…
HuyenKhong has not only spiritual value but also great historical value. During the war against French colonialism, this cave used to be a secret base for local communist leaders and guerilla. In the time that American Empire invaded Vietnam, American military made this one into commando training place as well as a garrison of the old South Government and American units.
In 1968, they were attacked and pushed back to the cave by liberation army; also at that time, the liberation army simultaneously attacked “Nuoc Man”- American military air force zone, and other bases nearby. HuyenKhong had become a field hospital of surgery and place in which injured liberation army hidden. The heroic battle of “Quang Nam - Da Nang” people are marked in the cave; typically, the battle attaching with the image of the hero “PhanHiep” (a person of HoaQuy land) in the early morning 23/8/1968. PhanHiep, a company captain, was conferred on a title The Hero of the People's Armed Force and also renamed PhanHanh Son by Vietnam Government.
With values of history, culture, and magic from nature, Huyenkhong has large attraction for tourists coming NguHanh Son.
Mr. Le Van Hoa, over ten years guide in NguHanh Son Tourist Area, has never felt bored about this cave even he takes tourists here more than twice a day. He said “every time giving a presentation to travelers, he feels happy because he can help them to understand well about the historical and cultural values of this place”.
Mr. Nguyen Van Bao, a Da Nang citizen, a tour guide in future, together with his friends from Tourism Department of Duy Tan University often come to NguHanh Son, especially HuyenKhong, to seek information of this place, but he is still charmed by the beauty of magical mystery. However, Bao as well as his group feel sorry for the cave because during the time for restoring, some of ancient and dignified features in this cave were disappeared.
It can be said that there is no words to describe enough the mystery of Huyenkhong. Mr. Phan Ban, an employee of Management Board of NguHanh Son Tourist Area, said “NguHanh Son is a famous landscape that visitor shouldn’t miss on the Heritage route in central Vietnam; it’s also an eternal symbol in the minds of Da Nang people.”
People with longing are attached to HuyenKhong and emotionally have words of poem. The poet, named Tan Da (Nguyen KhacHieu) was very famous for sentences of poem:
“Up to Huyenkhong cave together,
No more dust of life is in your mind”
Its’ meaning is that when you enter such a magical and mysterious cave, without anything of life; the past things, sadness, etc. And you live with yourself every moment in mysterious space.
The Management Board of NguHanh Son Tourist Area