Cham Pa culture had great influences on Vietnam’s cultural values of significance. The once capital of Cham 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 Champa Kingdom. Exemplifying the height of Cham architectural achievement, The My Son 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 My Son were the nobility of the Champa Kingdom who derived their cultural and spiritual influences almost exclusively from India.
My Son is located inside the valley complex of Quang Nam Province, southern Vietnam around 69 kilometers southwest of Da Nang city. From the 4th to 15th centuries, it was an imperial city during the Cham dynasty. Besides Hoi An old town, an ancient destination of historical value in Da Nang, My Son in Quang Nam is also a place of historical and culture-oriented tourism.
If you are enjoying a tour to My Son Holy Land, what can not be missed is the historical story of the sanctuary to be told to you by guides. The Cham people (người Chăm or người Chàm in Vietnamese) belong to an ethnic group in Southeast Asia. They formed the core of the Muslim communities in both Cambodia and Vietnam. Cham is remnant of the Chăm Pa Kingdom (7th to 15th centuries), closely related to the Malay race.
From the 4th to 15th centuries, a unique culture which owed its spiritual origins to Indian Hinduism of Cham developed on the coast of contemporary Viet Nam. This is graphically illustrated by the remains of a series of impressive tower-temples located in a dramatic site of My Son, which was the religious and political capital of the Cham Pa Kingdom for most of its existence.
According to records on the stone stele, the prime foundation of the ancient My Son architectural complex was a wooden temple to worship the Siva Bhadresvera genie. In the late 16th century, a big fire destroyed the temple. Step by step, historical mysteries were unveiled by scientists. Through stone stele and royal dynasties, they proved My Son to be the most important Holy Land of the Chăm people during the mentioned centuries, reflecting the style and history of Chăm People.
It is the religious role of My Son Holy land that draws people’s curiosity. This archeological site represents the longest continuous occupation for religious purposes, not only of the Cham Kingdom, but also within Southeast Asia as a whole.
Situated inside the 2-kilometer wide valley in Quang Nam province, the My Son Sanctuary temple complex was ever the central praying and worship ceremony place of Cham Pa reigns. My Son is also a tool to assist the reigns to contact with God and Saints. The land accordingly become the significant religious and cultural center of Cham Pa reigns.
The site was inhabited from the 4th to the 15th century AD, far longer than any of the other Indian-influenced sites in the region including the famous sites of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Borobudur in Indonesia, Pagan in Myanmar, or Ayutthaya in Thailand.
Another place to see: Huong Tich cave