Located on the eastern Indochina Peninsula is Vietnam, a land of wonder and beauty with sprawling white beaches, lush rainforests and of course a rich cultural history spanning around 20,000 years, out of which magnificent masterpieces of art and sculptors were created. One of the best places to see the grandeur of Vietnamese art and architecture is at the ancient Po Klong Garai Cham Temple Towers. If you’re spending your dream vacation in Vietnam at a premier beach resort Mui Ne such as the Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa driving down to this brick spectacle is a must as you will gain insight into the magnificence of Vietnam’s art.
There is a legend of gods and kings surrounding this ancient masterpiece of architecture. When the Khmer of Cambodia invaded his kingdom, the peace-loving King Po Klaung Garai challenged the invaders to settle the matter peacefully in a tower-building contest instead of raging into violent battle. The beloved king won the contest and became a god and protector of the people on earth; legend says that the tower he built in his contest with the Khmer is the tower that today is known by his name.
In contrary to the ancient legend, history books say that the Po Klong Garai Cham Temple Towers were built by King Cham King Jaya Simhavarman III towards the end of the 13th Century in honor of Po Klaung Garai. The art of this legendary temple belongs to the Thap Mam Style of Cham art and architecture, which pays a lot of detail into the ornamentation. There are three bricks towers that include a three-storied main tower, a tower with a saddle like roof and a smaller gate tower, all well preserved with their elaborate carvings intact.
The Po Klong Garai Cham Temple Towers located in the medieval Cham principality of Panduranga, near the city of Phan Rang, contain many exquisite works of art such as a Mukhalinga belonging to the 16th or 17th century and the carving of God Shiva. This carving of God Shiva with his six arms sees him dancing in a most graceful pose and is known locally as Po Klaun Tri – the Guardian of the Temple Tower.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.