My Son Sanctuary: an attractive destination
My Son Sanctuary has been named by touropia.com as one of the 10 most attractive destinations in Vietnam. The site was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1999 and is an outstanding example of the architecture of the Champa kingdom.
The scorching heat of summer doesn’t keep visitors from walking around My Son to admire the beauty of the temple. The cool air inside the temple and the sound of cicadas singing outside the temple inspire the tourists. Although many towers have been damaged, what remains is enough to amaze visitors, said one German tourist: “This is the first time I’ve come here. I’m very happy because the temples here are beautiful. "
With 70 buildings of brick and stone built between the fourth and thirteenth centuries, My Son was once the religious and political capital of the kingdom of Champa and the burial place of kings and monks. In My Son, the object of worship is the linga, an upright stone and classic representation of Shiva. The temple worships Bhardresvara, founder of the King Amaravati region near the end of the fourth century. The main component is a tower honoring the divinity of the king. It is surrounded by other smaller towers. The pyramid-shaped towers symbolize Mount Meru, a mythical summit in Hinduism. The architectural diversity of the place shows the talent of the Cham artisans who sculptured the towers with very expressive figures.
Today My Son has thirty brick towers, although most of them are in ruins. This shrine is considered a museum where you can discover the culture of the Kingdom of Champa. Architectural and sculptural works are mirrors of the minds of the Cham people, enabling us to understand their conception of the universe, life and death. The sanctuary of My Son has been damaged by erosion and war. But the site has been reborn from its ashes to boast a unique beauty that attracts tourists from around the world. Dat Chu, who lives in Ninh Thuan, told VOV: "I’m very moved to visit the temple because it is here that I found my home. The site has become a heritage. Champa culture is mysterious, diverse and original. Scientists have not finished unraveling all the secrets hidden in every brick and stone”.
In 2013, after 14 years of restoration, the public was allowed to visit temple G, one of the most important buildings at the site. More than 60 objects from the temple were discovered and restored. Federico, an Italian archaeologist who participated in the restoration of the temple between 2004 and 2005, said: "Before participating in this project, I read a lot about Champa culture. But seeing the temples with my own eyes, it is superb! The restored work is beautiful. It's like a miracle”.
The My Son Sanctuary is a must-see in central Vietnam. Just as picturesque as the famous temples of Angkor in Cambodia, the Bagan in Myanmar, or the Borobudur in Indonesia, My Son Sanctuary is a witness to the history of the Champa Kingdom and a World Heritage.