About MY SON Sanctuary, Vietnam

  • By Shobhna Vora
  • March 28, 2023
  • This photo article tells about the temples of My Son Sanctuary IN Vietnam. Temples are mainly Shiv. Some are being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India.

In the autumn of 2022, we were in Vietnam and Cambodia for a three week backpacking trip. Apart from the usual suggestions, Shri Suresh Adyeri had suggested that we should not be missing My Son Sanctuary. This also reminded me a tweet on My Son by India’s Minister for External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar. This is what motivated me to write and share photos.  


Our base was the Coastal City of Da Nang in Central Vietnam for exploring the nearby attractions. The plan was to spend an entire day in My Son Sanctuary. But as luck had it, the rains were unstoppable and our driver was reluctant to drive there as recent floods were playing on his mind. The rains receded in the afternoon so we requested the driver to take us there.


I am not a history buff but I was stunned to see presence of Indic Civilisation some four thousand kms away. My Son reveals cultural, artistic and architectural values that developed over nine centuries i.e. from the 4th to the 13th. There are neither enough words to describe nor photos to capture the grandeur of our civilizational contribution. Chams Temple Complex in My Son Sanctuary is just one proof of that.


As we entered the Temple Complex, we were greeted by this sign just at the entrance of the gate and I how can I forget the words of Dr. Jaishankar ji during his address at Kashi Tamil Sangam, Varanasi, “Temples are keepers of Indian Heritage and can’t be neglected any more. For this we are rebuilding, resorting and reenergizing temples not only in India but across the world.”

Before visiting or seeing pictures of MY Son here is some information about the temple complex.


According to the UNESCO site, “The tower temples were constructed over ten centuries of continuous development in what was the heart of the ancestral homeland of the ruling Dua Clan which unified the Cham clans and established the kingdom of Champapura (Sanskrit for City of the Cham people) in 192 CE. During the 4th to 13th centuries CE this unique culture, on the coast of contemporary Viet Nam, owed its spiritual origins to the Hinduism of the Indian sub-continent. Under this influence many temples were built to the Hindu divinities such as Krishna and Vishnu, but above all Shiva. Although Mahayan Buddhist penetrated the Cham culture, probably from the 4th century CE, and became strongly established in the north of the kingdom, Shaivite Hinduism remained the established state religion.”


“The monuments of the My Son sanctuary are the most important constructions of the My Son civilization. The tower temples have a variety of architectural designs symbolizing the greatness and purity of Mount Meru, the mythical sacred mountain home of Hindu gods at the center of the universe, now symbolically reproduced on Earth in the mountainous homeland of the Cham people. They are constructed in fired brick with stone pillars and decorated with sandstone bas-reliefs.”


The Hindu tower temples of the My Son Sanctuary are located within a well-protected property with clearly defined boundaries. Eight groups of 71 standing monuments exist as well as extensive buried archaeology representing the complete historic sequence of construction of tower temples at the site, covering the entire period of the existence of the Champa Kingdom.”


“What’s most impressive? The fired bricks were held together without any mortar or holes, yet they’ve lasted until this day. In contrast to the surrounding green plant life, their reddish colour is beautiful to behold.” 3


Close to 2 kms from the My Son relic area, is the Museum. It is suggested that you visit the museum before visiting the relic area.


I was happy to see many temples being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India and am sharing pictures of My Son.


Nandi.In Museum, do visit. Temples before and after Restoration. 


Also read

1. Shiva Temple in Central Vietnam

2. Album My Son

3. Vietnam Tourism

Receive Site Updates