My Son Sanctuary – The Holy Land of Champa Kingdom

My Son Sanctuary was listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage in 1999. The destination has become a famous tourist attraction because of its priceless meanings of politics and culture of Vietnam in the ancient time. All of structures bring unique features, which is typical for Asian styles at that time. Let follow us to discover the amazing things in this holy destination!

Located in Duy Xuyen District- Quang Nam Province, My Son sanctuary is a typical symbol for the outstanding spiritual life of people who follow to Hinduism of India during 4th century to 13th century. Its architecture is featured by ancient tower temples, retaining quintessence of Champa Kingdom. The sanctuary remains special things about culture, architecture, history, and arts during 9th century, reflecting the unique characteristics of Champa culture compared to other ones in Asian countries.

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My Son Sanctuary was first built in 4th century, lying on a valley surrounded majestic mountains. This place is also the watershed of Thu Bon River – one of the largest rivers in central Vietnam, which flow through the holy land of sanctuary after pouring into the East Sea near the Hoi An port – one of the most bustling trading port in Vietnam in the past time.

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It can be seen that My Son sanctuary is a centre of culture and politics of Champa Kingdom in the previous time. It often uses for main national rituals of Hinduism. The ancient people thought that the sanctuary helps them closer to their divinities. Along with the indispensable roles about beliefs, this sanctuary is also the final resting place of powerful kings and monks in the Champa kingdom. The sanctuary worships 3 gods of Hinduism including Krishna – the creator, Vishnu – the protector, and above all Shiva – the destroyer. Scientists proved that My Son Sanctuary not only brings the medieval beauty of Southeast Asian countries but absorbs the distinctive features of India sub-continent culture. 

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My Son sanctuary is a complex of 71 impressive tower temples, bringing distinctive architecture of Champa time. The temples are designed following to the model of Mount Meru – a mythical sacred mountain in the center of our universe. Each temple is square cylinder-shaped at foot with miniature roofs above, which mainly make of fired bricks. The amazing thing is that all bricks are firmly connected to each other without intervention of modern technology. And until now, they still survive despite of the huge changes of Vietnamese history. It is also home of Hindu gods that Champa people respect and worship every day. The tower temples in My Son sanctuary also showcase the high skills of the ancient engineers in the depiction of a vividly beautiful picture of Champa people’s life.

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After the last reign of Champa kingdom was collapsed, it had been forgotten for a long time. In the late 19th century, M.C.Paris – a French scholar found this complex of structures in accident. In the old records of ancient gravestones, the sanctuary at first was made of mainly wood in 4th century. After that, it is completely destroyed by a huge fire in 6th century. In the early time of 7th century, the temples were erected with bricks and it has survived until now.

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In Indochina War in 20th century, some parts of My Son Sanctuary were destroyed by bomb attacks. But the remaining tower temples have been well-preserved at the present time. Until now, My Son sanctuary is still considered as one of the most excellent achievement of the art of sculptures and architecture in Champa Kingdom. Many invaluable relics and objects was found in the sanctuary, reflecting clearly about Champa customs and practices such as Champa dancers’ statues, Champa divinities’ statues, holy animals, and sculptures of communal activities of Champa people at that time.

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