My Son (which means in Vietnamese “Beautiful Mountain”), is a cluster of abandoned Hindu temples built between the 4th and 13th century AD, located in the Quang Nam Province of Vietnam. This site gives us great insight into political and spiritual life of this important phase of South-East Asian history. Its position in a small valley surrounded by high mountains gave it strategic advantage and easy defense.

My Son was the capital of the Champa Kingdom for the majority of its existence, which started when the people of the Tuong Lam area rose up against their Chinese overlords in AD 192. Many temples were built to the Hindu divinities (such as Vishnu, Krishna, and Shiva) when the Cham came under influence of the Hindu religion, My Son being the favored location for such temples by kings in the 6th and 8th centuries. The vast majority of the 11th century was a period of continuous warfare, and My Son suffered greatly. Following the decline of the Champa Kingdom from the 13th century, by the 15th century, worship ceased at My Son.

The kalan (main tower) symbolizes the meru (sacred mountain) at the centre of the universe. The bhurloka (rectangular base), decorated with reliefs, represents the human world.

Photos courtesy & taken by dalbera. When writing up this post, UNESCO world heritage was of great use.

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