Po Nagar Cham Towers
Po Nagar Cham Towers
Location: On Cu Lao Hill, by Cai River, belongs to Vinh Phuoc Ward, Nha Trang City, about 2km to the north of the city centre.
Characteristic: This is a typical architectural and sculptural work of Cham culture.
◊ History of foundation
(TITC) - The complex was built in the 8th century – the prosperous period of Hinduism in the ancient Kingdom of Cham Pa (Khauthara region), now Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen provinces.
Originally, the tower was made of wood in order to worship Thien Y Thanh Mau (Goddess Po Nagar) who Cham people consider as the goddess created the Earth, trees, and rice. Then, King Prithi Indravarman had the tower rebuilt to worship Goddess Bhagavati. In 774, King Satysuaman also had the tower rebuilt by stone and brick but it was destroyed later. The current tower complex was built in 965 by King Jaya Indravarman I to worship the gods of Po Nagar, Siva (one of three supreme gods of Hinduism), Sanhaka and Ganeca (sons of God Siva).
The Po Nagar Tower Complex consists of three levels. The lowest level is the gate tower totally destroyed. From here, there are stone steps leading up to the middle level called Mandapa (meditation hall) where pilgrims can rest and prepare offerings. Mandapa is 20m long and 15m wide, includes two rows of 10 large pillars and 12 small pillars.
On the third level, there are two parallel tower ranges, each range had 3 towers but now only 4 ones remain. In this architectural complex, the main tower to worship Goddess Po Nagar is the largest one with its height of 23m, terraced pyramidal roof. Inside the tower, there is a 2.6m-high statue of the goddess made of black granite sitting on a lotus-shaped stone base, backing on a large Bodhi leaf-shaped stone plate. The statue is considered as a masterpiece of Cham sculpture. The other three towers are dedicated to God of Siva and his two sons, Gods of Sanhaca and Ganeca.
The Po Nagar tower complex preserves many ancient inscriptions of Cham people about sacrifices and worship to Goddess Po Nagar, the praise for the goddess, and the construction of the tower complex...
Every year, from the 21st to the 23rd days of the third lunar month, Po Nagar Festival is organized with large scale, including activities as washing and changing clothes for the statue, dang ba dance, gheracing, boi singing… This is the biggest religious festival in the region to commemorate Goddess Po Nagar.
In 1979, Po Nagar Tower Complex was recognized as a national historical site by Ministry of Culture and Information (now Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism).
From 2000 to 2003, the complex was restored and embellished. With its unique architecture, the complex has become an attractive destination for tourists when visiting Nha Trang.
Opening time: 6.00am – 6.00pm daily