MY SON SANCTUARY INTRODUCTION

The “ Valley of Kings”  an ancient and lost civilization.

HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights best summed up by UNESCO – The My Son Sanctuary is a remarkable architectural ensemble that developed over a period of ten centuries. It presents a vivid picture of spiritual and political life in an important phase of the history of South-East Asia.

The monuments are unique and without equal in Southeast Asia.

Criterion (ii): The My Son Sanctuary is an exceptional example of cultural interchange, with an indigenous society adapting to external cultural influences, notably the Hindu art and architecture of the Indian sub-continent.

Criterion (iii): The Champa Kingdom was an important phenomenon in the political and cultural history of South – East Asia, vividly illustrated by the ruins of My Son.

LOCATION

Mỹ Sơn is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in South-Central Vietnam, and is believed to be the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina. It is considered one of the foremost Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia, and one of the most important heritage sites of this nature in Vietnam.

Mỹ Sơn was recognized as a World Heritage Site, by UNESCO in 1999 under its criterion C (III) — evidence of an Asian civilization, which is now extinct.

Located inside a 2km wide valley, 50 kilometers from Hoi An, this “Valley of Kings” as described by French historians, was once the capital of the Chăm Pa Kingdom from the 4th to 15th century. Originally consisting of more than 70 structures, 25  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.

This is illustrated by the remains of a series of impressive tower-temples located in a dramatic site that was the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence.

LANDSCAPE

The name Mỹ Sơn means beautiful mountain in Vietnamese. The temple complex is located in a 2 km wide valley, surrounded by mountains, the sides of which are covered in thick jungle. Hon Quap (Cat’s Tooth Mountain) overlooks the site, its crooked peak mimicked by the architecture of some temples’ roofs. These mountains are the source of the Thu Bon river, a holy river which flows through the site.

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