Thánh địa Mỹ Sơn, Duy Xuyên District, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
|⏰ Opening Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
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What is My Son Sanctuary?
My Son Sanctuary is a remarkable archaeological site located in the heart of the lush Vietnamese countryside, not far from the storied city of Hoi An. This tranquil setting is the vestige of the ancient Champa Kingdom, which flourished in Central Vietnam from the 2nd to the 15th century. The site encompasses a complex of Hindu temples, each one rich with history and enveloped by the whispering greenery of the surrounding valley.
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To those who visit, My Son stands as a testament to the spiritual and cultural vitality of the Cham civilization. It is revered for its intricate brickwork, unique to the Cham people, and its spectacular series of stone sculptures and reliefs, illustrating Hindu mythology. More than just an impressive collection of ruins, My Son provides insight into the artistic and religious life of a bygone era that shaped the region's history.
History of My Son Sanctuary
The rich tapestry of My Son's history unfurls across centuries of construction and reverence. It began in the 4th century, under King Bhadravarman, as a wooden temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. Over time, successive Cham rulers embellished the complex, adding grand stone and brick temples that illustrated both their devotion and their power. It is known that up to the 13th century, monarchs were still constructing temples, and the site had become a religious and cultural epicenter for the Champa Kingdom.
During its zenith, My Son Sanctuary was the site of royal ceremonies, as well as a burial place for Cham monarchs. Unfortunately, the site was not spared the ravages of time and conflict. Much of the complex was destroyed during the Vietnam War; however, what survives is enough to convey its former glory. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, extensive restoration efforts guided by both Vietnamese authorities and international groups have helped to preserve this significant monument for posterity.
Why is My Son Sanctuary Important?
The importance of My Son Sanctuary extends beyond its physical grandeur; it's a unique cultural link to the region's ancient past. As the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina, My Son represents the zenith of Cham temple architecture and sculpture. It holds irreplaceable clues into the spiritual lives, funerary rites, and kingdom dynamics of an entire civilization.
We understand the Cham people better through the delicate carvings and freestanding statues that have withstood the test of time, displaying influences from various Asian empires. Moreover, the technology used in the construction of the temples, particularly their intricate brickwork, remains a fascinating mystery to contemporaries and scholars alike. In acknowledgment of its tremendous cultural and historical significance, My Son Sanctuary was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
Things to Do & See at My Son Sanctuary
Visiting My Son offers a palette full of experiences. One can wander through the sanctuary's remains, exploring the remnants of religious structures, which elicit a sense of awe and wonder. The temples are interspersed with informative plaques, often surprising visitors with the intricacy and resilience of the Cham craftsmanship. Take a moment to ponder the UNESCO-recognized site, envisaging the ceremonies that once reverberated through these galleried sanctuaries.
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Photography enthusiasts have much to capture, from the detailed ornamental carvings depicting scenes of Hindu deities to the way nature has braided itself harmoniously with the ruins. For those who are keen on the nuances of historical narrative, guided tours are invaluable. The guides—custodians of stories passed down through generations—shed light on aspects that are not discernible to the casual observer.
And of course, for the full experience, there's the spectacle of traditional Cham dance performances, usually held at specific times during the day. These are not to be missed. The backdrop of the ancient temples combined with the vibrant cultural display offers a truly immersive glimpse into the soul of old Champa. Lastly, don't forget that the Apsara Dance, with its slow, hypnotic movements, is far more than a tourist attraction; it's a bridge to the spiritual realm of the Cham people.