MY SON SANCTUARY – MYSTERIOUS WORLD HERITAGE
Location of My Son sanctuary:AGE
My Son sanctuary is located in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam province, about 70 km southwest of Da Nang vietnam city and 40 km from Hoi An city. The holy land lies in a valley about 2km in diameter, surrounding is hills and mountains, in mountain ranges about 100m to 400m from the East Truong Son through My Son to Tra Kieu.
My Son sanctuary’s setting history:
My Son is a Hindu holyland of Champa Kingdom. After the throne, the King came to My Son to do the holy, offer the sacrifices and build the temples. My Son is the only place of Cham art with a continuous development from the 7th to the 13th century. At the beginning of the 7th century, King Sambhuvarman built the temple with the very durable materials, which still exist today. The later kings remodeled the old temples and built new temples to offer to their gods.
In 1885, a group of French soldiers discovered My Son relic. In 1898 – 1899, two French telecommunications researchers, L. Finin and L.de Lajonquière and the architect and archaeologist H. Parmentier went to My Son to study the stele and Cham architectural art, sculpture. Until the period of 1903-1904, L. Finin officially published the most basic materials about inscriptions and My Son architectural art.
Outstanding characteristics about the architecture of My Son sanctuary:
The main temples in My Son worship a Linga or the symbol of Siva God – the protector of the Champa kings. The god who is worshiped in My Son is Bhadrésvara, who founded the first King of the Amaravati region in the late 4th century together with the god Siva, became the main religious worship god – king and royal ancestors.
Sanctuary in My Son is a division of several clusters, built according to the same principle. The structure of each cluster consists of a main temple (Kalan), with several small towers surrounding or auxiliary structures. The main temple represents for Meru mountain – the center of the universe, the convergence of the gods and the worship of Siva God. The auxiliary temples (secondary shrines) worship the gods managing the direction of the universe. Besides, there are also secondary buildings with tiled roofs, where pilgrims celebrate and preserve the sacrifices. Temples of the Cham do not have windows, except the auxiliary towers.
Cham pa sanctuary was built by brick, and grafted with patterns that decorated by panels. They are juxtaposed with each other and no study has yet been identified the adhesive. After buliding the tower wall, the new sculptors began carving flowers, figures, animals … up the tower. The carving technique on brick of the Cham rarely appears in other arts of this area.
Each temple tower in My Son has three main parts: the base, the body and the roof.
- The base: according to the Champa conception, the base of tower represents for the mundane world, usually built by brick or slate on square or rectangle foundation. Around the base was under the decoration with motifs of patterns, beasts, prayers standing in small arches.
- The body: also in the Champa conception, the body represents for the spiritual world, where people wash away the dust and debris so that they can connect to their ancestors and integrate into the world of the gods.
- The roof: represents for the Gods, often has three-stairs, the higher it is built, the narrower its area is. Each floor fully simulates the structure of the main and the secondary door like the downstairs and is decorated with symbols, rides of the gods in Hinduism such as: God bird, God groose, God bull, elephant, lion … The first and second floors at each corner are often decorated with small towers.
Other original features in My Son sanctuary:
According to the researchers of ancient Cham towers, Cham architectural art at My Son converge a lot of styles, and keep the continuity from the ancient style of the 7th to 8,th century, Hoa Lai style in 8th century to 9th century, Dong Duong style from the middle of 9th century, My Son style and transition between My Son and Binh Dinh, Binh Dinh style
For long time people still call temples in My Son after the rhymes A, A ‘, B, C, D … is following to the division and naming convention of Henri Parmentier. He relied on the walls surrounding the tower block to put them in the same group with a letter. In direct observation, people believed that numbering in each of his groups seemed to be based on the performance of each temple. Starting from the main temple – the most important tower of group, was marked number 1; Gate tower-number 2; The remaining towers are assigned the next numbers depending on their functions . His naming method is very significant in researching and managing the My Son heritage site for many years.
Among 225 Cham monuments discovered in Vietnam, only My Son has about 70 temples, 32 stela that exist in one form or another. The temples here are not intact but still the best materials to understand the development of Cham art. The art of Cham sculpture is deeply receptive to the influence of India, but in the process of developing, the indigenous identity increasingly bold and the national identity is increasingly affirming, creating a unique look, strange charm. Cham sculptures also have pictures of monks, dancers and hedonists, but the highlight is the characteristics of human vitality with a inner space that is sometimes high- faluting and bouyant, sometimes calm and distressed, sometimes worried.
In December 1999, at the 23rd session of the World Heritage Committee held in Marrakesh (Morocco), My Son sanctuary was chosen by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites under the second standard as a good example of cultural exchange and as the third standard as the only evidence of an Asian civilization has disappeared.
Essential information to know about My Son sanctuary:
How to get there?
The best way to My Son sanctuary is in Hue Hoi An private car service. Tourists take a private car from Hoi an to my son with a very reasonable price. Besidescan go by bus, motorbike. Our Hue cheapes motorbikes are always ready with perfect engine for you to experience the hidden place like My Son. In addition, in the condition of extreme weather, you can choose Hue private cars. Our convenient is available to take you to any places with a good price.
The entrance fee and opening time of My Son sanctuary:
- 150.000 VND / person;
- Free for Children under 5 years
- Opening hours for sightseeing
- Summer: From 6:00 to 17:00
- Winter: From 6:30 to 17:00
- The opening time of monuments on weekdays (including New Year holidays)