In my previous post, I had told you guys to guess the next two places I’m going to tell you about. If your guess was correct, Great Job! If you were not able to guess these two places, don’t worry! These are the two places:
- My Son Sanctuary
- Museum of Cham Sculptures
This post is going to be about two places related to the Champa civilisation. The first place is a cluster of partially collapsed Hindu temples, while, the second place is a museum built to showcase the artefacts found in historic spots in Vietnam.
1. My Son Sanctuary
The My Son Temples were built by the Kings of Champa and were dedicated to the Hindu God, Shiva. According to UNESCO, these tower temples were built between the 4th and 13th centuries CE (the inclusion of new temple towers by various rulers of Champa continued for ten centuries!). These temples are located in the Quang Nam Province in Central Vietnam. My Son Sanctuary comprises of around 70 partially collapsed temples. There are many inscriptions carved on the walls of these temples. My Son Sanctuary has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 and has also been recognized as a World Cultural Site by UNESCO since 1999.
While writing this post, I came to know a fact that I had not known before: The Thu Bồn River is located in My Son and flows past the monuments of My Son Sanctuary. This river empties itself into the South China Sea at Hoi An.
The carvings on the walls of this temple reminded me of the carvings I saw in temples in India (Tamil Nadu), Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand.
2. Museum of Cham Sculptures
The Museum of Cham Sculptures has the world’s largest collection of Champa sculptures. Located in Danang, the first building of this museum was built in the year 1915 and opened in 1919. The sculptures and artefacts here have been collected from historic sites such as My Son Sanctuary and more. The artefacts mostly come from the Quang Nam and Da Nang provinces of Vietnam.
In an article given in the official website of the Museum of Cham Sculptures, it is written: the museum currently has more than 2,000 large and small artefacts and nearly 500 objects on display inside the museum house. This is the article (on Patterns in Cham Sculpture): http://chammuseum.vn/view.aspx?ID=441.
In the Lonely Planet-Vietnam book that I have at home (11th Edition, Published: Feb. 2013), it is mentioned: the museum includes Altars, Lingas, Garudas, Apsaras, Ganesha and images of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu.
The historical sites got collapsed due to both manmade and natural calamities. The Government of Vietnam has done a lot to preserve its history and culture of the past. This gives an opportunity to visitors and tourists to know how the country was, centuries ago.
This post would be my last post on Vietnam. So, I would like to share a few of my thoughts about this trip:
When I first came to know that there were temples in Vietnam, I was surprised. Then I came to know that these temples were built by the Kings of Champa. This made me interested in the history of the country and I wanted to know more about the Champa Civilisation. Hence, I decided to have a separate write up on this.
Like the Dilmun Civilisation in Bahrain and Tamil Civilisation under the Chera, Chola, Pandya and Pallava Dynasties in India, there are many other civilisations around the world. I would like to explore and encourage others to do so to understand how the world around us has changed since ancient times.