Visiting My Son Sanctuary: the unique Champa architectural complex

by Ms Jenni
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Visiting My Son Sanctuary: the unique Champa architectural complex

In the cultural and tourism treasures of Central Vietnam, My Son Sanctuary is a sacred, mysterious destination and contains many cultural quintessence of the ancient Champa kingdom.

My Son Sanctuary is a mysterious and unique architectural complex with more than 70 Champa temples, located in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam province. It is 69km from Da Nang city and 45km from Hoi An ancient town.

In 1999, this place was selected by UNESCO as a world heritage site as a unique demonstration of the lost Asian civilization. If you love to explore and learn about ancient cultures, this is a place worth checking out.

1. General introduction about My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary in Duy Phu Commune, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province, is estimated to have more than 70 temples and towers built from the 7th to the 13th centuries. Located near the ancient citadel of Tra Kieu, this is the land of worship and sacrifices of the Cham Pa dynasty, and also a shelter if the capital is unfortunately invaded.

Visiting My Son Sanctuary: The Unique Champa Architectural Complex 2023

The most prominent common feature of the towers is the quadrangular base structure, and worships the main image of Shiva – the Hindu god of creation and destruction.

Visiting My Son Sanctuary: The Unique Champa Architectural Complex

My Son Sanctuary is open to visit from 6:30 to 17:30 every day of the week, with the following admission prices:

For Vietnamese guests: 100,000 VND/person.
For foreign guests: 150,000 VND/person.

2. My Son Sanctuary’s architecture is mysterious and unique

The architecture of My Son Sanctuary is influenced by Hinduism. The temples are built of brick and stone, mainly facing the east – the direction of the rising sun is also the residence of the gods. The structure of the temple and tower is divided into 3 parts, including: the base of the tower, the body of the tower and the top of the tower.

Visiting My Son Sanctuary: The Unique Champa Architectural Complex 2023

Each temple or tower worship a different god or king dynasty. For that reason, each project is like a piece of a puzzle, recreating the historical flow of the Champa Kingdom. The relic is divided into areas including:

  • Area A: Where visitors can see the entire temple complex. Most of the buildings in this area are in the process of being restored.
  • Area B: Where there is 1 main tower and 3 auxiliary towers. This area is located on the western hill.
  • Area C: This place gathers many temples, towers, inscriptions, reliefs, the most impressive and unique sculptures in My Son Sanctuary. Area C is located on the southern hill and is a place that you should definitely not miss when visiting this complex of monuments.

3. Activities that attract visitors

Kate Festival – a unique traditional festival of the Cham people

This is a traditional festival, extremely important to the Cham people. The festival is held in July every year according to the Cham calendar, an occasion for Cham people to remember their ancestors, grandparents, and pray for the proliferation of all things.

Visiting My Son Sanctuary: The Unique Champa Architectural Complex 2023

Kate festival

Besides, Kate festival is also the crystallization of cultural values ​​in the community life of the Cham people. Participating in the festival, visitors will have the opportunity to discover many traditional rituals of the people here such as praying for peace, water procession, palanquin procession, … and enjoy the performances of traditional musical instruments extremely attractive.

Apsara dance “soul of stone” is flexible and attractive

Apsara dance of the Cham people is compared to the dance of fairies serving the gods, with slow, gentle and graceful movements.

Initially, this dance was only used in the royal court. However, along with the development and expansion of culture, this dance is increasingly loved and included in folk life.

Apsara is a harmonious combination between every move, skillful and flexible hand movements and the beautiful beauty of Cham dancers with the sound of Paranung drums and Saranai trumpets. All create an enchanting performance that makes visitors unable to take their eyes off.

The thousand-year-old road in My Son Sanctuary

During the restoration and restoration of temples, an Indian expert discovered this road. This is an ancient road leading directly to the center of My Son Sanctuary with a width of 8m, two parallel walls are delicately carved and buried in the ground at a depth of 1m.

According to historical documents, only kings, members of the royal family or people with dignitaries can walk on this road. This is also the road leading to the large tower used to organize sacrifices of the ancient Cham people.

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