My Son Sanctuary is a complex of Cham Pa monuments in Duy Phu Commune, Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam province. It's about 20 km from Tra Kieu to the West, 45 km from Hoi An City to the West, and 68 km from Da Nang City to the Southwest.
This area is located in a valley with a diameter of about 2 km, surrounded by hills and mountains. It used to be a place for worshiping as well as an area of tombs of mandarins and royal kings of ancient Champa dynasties. In 1999, the My Son Sanctuary was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
My Son Sanctuary dated back to the fourth century - the earliest in My Son, King Bhadresvara built a temple to worship King Bhadravarman - the founder of the first king of Amaravati at the end of the fourth century, assimilated with the god Siva and became worship of gods - kings and royal ancestors.
The architecture of My Son Sanctuary
This complex is home to more than 70 temples and towers with many architectural and sculptural styles typical of each stage of the Champa kingdom.
The architectural style here is divided into six types: ancient style, Hoa Lai, Dong Duong, My Son, Po Nagar and the style of Binh Dinh people. Hinduism influences most of the works and sculptures in My Son.
Cham sculpting techniques of Cham people rarely appear in other art. The towers all have pyramids - the symbols of the sacred Meru peak, home to Hindu gods.
The tower gate often turns east to receive the sunlight. The outer wall of the tower is decorated with S-shaped leaf-shaped patterns connected. The ornament is a sculpture of Makara sandstone (the mythical beast with fangs and long spout), Apsara female figure, lion, elephant, bird of Garuda, the statue of prayers. They are closely aligned with each other, and until now, there has been no research work that identifies adhesives, humanoids, shapes on towers.
The highlight of Cham sculpture is to show the intense vitality of people with inner emotions when they are so refreshing, calm, and thoughtful.
Each historical period has its mark with different architectural lines. My Son Sanctuary not only shows the masterpiece of Champa architecture but also the culture of Southeast Asia.
The overall of My Son Sanctuary
The whole area consists of two hills, facing each other in the East-West direction and right at the intersection of a stream in which stream branches become a natural boundary dividing this place into four areas.
The sanctuary center is the central tower (Kalan), and many small auxiliary towers surround it.
The main tower has two doors in the east-west direction, of which each door has eight steps to go up and the arches. On each arch is a miniature tower. The tower worships a large set of Linga - Yoni (now there is only one Yoni stone platform).
The upper part of the tower has three floors. On each level, there are fake doors, people shaped under the arches. Two fake doors on both sides are two overlapping arches, decorated with sophisticated patterns.