My Son Holy land
Vietnam is famous for its naturally attracting destinations, among which My Son is one of the tops. It dates back to the ancient Champa Kingdom; mostly thrive in 2nd and 15th centuries. Nowadays, although most of descendants of the Champa civilisation integrated in Vietnamese society, they still live along the coast of Vietnam.
My Son suited in a narrow valley in Duy Tan Commune, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province. It is far 70km southwest from Danang City, 20km away from the Tra Kieu Citadel, and 40km away from the Ancient Town of Hoi An. It is a group of Cham people’s temple – towers.
Specially, in December 1999, UNESCO recognized the complex of My Son Cham Towers as a World Heritage Site.
The Kingdom at My Son was informed in the 4th century, until 13th century it was still occupied. It is the longest occupied of all the main SE Asia’s monuments. It is regarded as a religious and intellectual centre where Champa kings were crowned and buried.
As the opinions of the ancient Cham towers’ researchers , Cham towers’ architectural art at My Son Sanctuary is the combination of different styles, namely the ancient style in the 7th-8th centuries, the Hoa Lai style of the 8th-9th centuries, the Dong Duong style from the mid-9th century, the My Son and My Son-Binh Dinh styles, etc. Besides, the site is influenced SE Asia’s archaeological sites, is often seemed as some of the great Indian such as Borobodur in Indonesia, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Ayuthaya in Thailand and Pagan in Burma.
It is seemed as a masterpiece of ancient Cham architecture. It has two doors, one in the east and the other in the west. The tower was very impressive with a giant system of pillars, high body; six sub-towers surrounding the tower. Especially, visiting here tourists can see two- storey tower like a lotus flower. People used sandstone to make the top of the upper layer, carved with elephant and lion. In the lower layer, the walls were carved with fairies, water evils and men riding elephants. However, many of the site’s temples were destroyed in the American War in 1969.
My Son was used as an important base to against US army. 20 of the original 70 structures intact were left. Bomb craters next to some of the temples are clearly visible.
Then archaeologist discovered the My Son ancient tower complex, many artifacts of its were colleted. Visiting the Cham Architecture Museum in Danang city, tourists will have chance to see the statues of female dancers and genies worshipped by the Cham people, worship animals, and the daily communal activities. Although not many of the site’s temples left, it shows the cultural value of the Cham nationality. Moreover, they are vivid proof, showing the history of a nationality living within the Vietnamese community boasting of a rich cultural tradition.