posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:20 AM
In Part III of this series, we'll focus only on only one place, The Temples of My Son in Vietnam. It is one of the most amazing groups of ancient
structures that I've come across, and one that more than deserves it's place in history. At one time consisting of more than 70 temples, it's one
of the most important temple complexes in Buddism.
Dating as far back as the 4th century, My Son (pronunced Me Sun) was an important center of knowledge, spiritualism, and politics for the Champa
The Temples of My Son
In a lush green valley in central Vietnam under the imposing glare of Cat's Tooth Mountain rests one of the most important archaeological sites
of the ancient kingdom of Champa.
It is unassuming, resilient and rich in history and beauty. One could well be describing Vietnam itself. In truth, the crumbling temples of My Son are
just a speck on Vietnam's kaleidoscope of indulgent cultural experiences.
The temple-towers of My Son are thought to date back to the late 4th century and together formed the most significant intellectual, religious and
political centre of the Champa kingdom, which controlled what is now contemporary Vietnam until the 13th century.
Chăm Pa culture had great influences on Vietnam’s cultural values of significance. The once capital of Chăm Pa Kingdom from 4th to 15th
century was “Thánh địa Mỹ Sơn”, called “Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary" or "Valley of Kings" by French historians.
In those days, My Son became centre for spirituality and worship during the reign of the Chămpa Kingdom. Exemplifying the height of Chăm
architectural achievement, The Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary is a large complex of religious monuments originally consisting of more than 70 structures; the
vestiges of 25 of which remain today. The builders of Mỹ Sơn were the nobility of the Chămpa Kingdom who derived their cultural and spiritual
influences almost exclusively from India.
As with far too many ancient structures, it has been damaged due to war.
In 1937, French scholars began to restore the temples at Mỹ Sơn. In 1937 and 1938, the main temple known as "A1" and the smaller temples
surrounding it were restored. Other major temples were restored between 1939 and 1943. However, many historical buildings were destroyed during the
Vietnam War. United States B52 aircraft carpet-bombed the region in August 1969. The surrounding area is still rendered dangerous through the presence
of unexploded land mines.
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.
There is much more additional information and pictures about My Son found at the links within the thread. I have only posted a few representitive
pictures to illustrate the beauty of the place, and hopefully given everyone just enough interest to look into this group of amazing structures.
Thanks for reading....See you in the thread...and in Part IV (coming soon).
Links to Part I and Part II: