My Son Sanctuary

A Site Plan of My Son

A Site Plan of My Son

The My Son Sanctuary is a remarkable architectural site, containing the remains of a series of impressive tower temples and providing an important glimpse into the spiritual and political life of the ancient Champa Kingdom of Southeast Asia.

The tower temples developed during the 4th to 13th centuries CE in the mountainous border Duy Xuyen District of Quang Nam Province in Central Vietnam. Situated in a small valley and surrounded by a ring of mountains, My Son Sanctuary is a sacred site of the ancient kingdom of Champapura, whose unique culture on the coast of contemporary Vietnam owed much of its spiritual origins to the Hinduism of India. The surviving structures at My Son Sanctuary were built during the 10th to 14th centuries CE.

The predominant style of the architecture and decoration of the My Son Sanctuary derives from India and is an excellent example of cultural interchange. The technological sophistication of Cham engineering skills is apparent by the fired brick and stone pillar construction of the tower temples, and the decorative sandstone bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology give evidence to the elaborate iconography and symbolism of the site.

Eight groups of 71 standing monuments exist within the My Son Sanctuary. The tower temple (kalan) symbolizes the greatness of Mount Meru, the mythical sacred mountain home of the Hindu gods. Each tower consists of a rectangular base (bhurloka), representing the human world, with the main tower (bhuvakola) rising above it.