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Vietnam – MySon Temples

MySon, Vietnam

Vietnam - My Son - Sanctuaire

Mỹ Sơn is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples in Vietnam, constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa.  It is located near the village of Duy Phú, 69 km southwest of Da Nang and 40 km from Hoi An.

Vietnam - My Son - Ruin

It is regarded as one of the foremost Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia and is the foremost heritage site of this nature in Vietnam.

From the 4th to the 14th century AD, the valley at Mỹ Sơn was a site of religious ceremony for kings of the ruling dynasties of Champa, as well as a burial place for Cham royalty and national heroes.

The constructions include temples, towers, tombs and reddish brick structures that are linking the various buildings. You can visit Champa remains elsewhere in Vietnam, for example in Mui Ne and in Nha Trang.

The temples are in a valley roughly two kilometres wide that is surrounded by two mountain ranges, and are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva.

Vietnam - My Son - Temple

At one time, the site encompassed over 70 temples as well as numerous stele bearing historically important inscriptions in Sanskrit and Cham.

The Cham reign before succumbing, and My Son was buried and forgotten for centuries, until the year 1885 where it was discovered by the French.

Vietnam- My Son - Temple caché
Vietnam - My Son - River
Vietnam - My Son - Sculpture
Vietnam - My Son- Sculture sans tete
Vietnam - My Son - Sculture sans tete 2
Vietnam - My Son - Dancers

Mỹ Sơn is perhaps the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina, but a large majority of its architecture was destroyed by US carpet bombing during a single week of the Vietnam War.  Fortunately 20 buildings have great condition.

Mỹ Sơn  temples have Indian and Indonesian influences, noticeable particularly in stone sculptures shaped goddesses, reminding by its style to the apsaras of Temples of Angkor in Cambodia.

It is also often compared with other historical temple complexes in Southeast Asia, such as Borobudur of Java in Indonesia, , Bagan of Myanmar and Ayutthaya of Thailand.

As of 1999, My Son has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

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