Built in the 4th century, My Son was once the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom and the burial place of kings and monks. Architect Kazimiers Kwiakowski, who has studied My Son architecture for several years, says that from the 4th to the 13th century Cham people built this magnificent architectural work with their souls and hearts. He describes the museum as a special sculpture museum of humanity.
Within a radius of 2 km, towers and tombs in My Son reflect architectural influences of Indian religion. There is one main tower in the middle and several smaller towers surrounding. The main tower worships the Linga or Shiva statue. In front of each tower, there is a place to arrange offerings and conduct ceremonial rituals. All towers have a pyramidal roof and face east to receive sunlight. Many towers are decorated with genie statues and beautiful patterns. Huynh Tan Lap is Vice-President of the My Son Relic Management Committee.“Hinduism is the religion practiced here. The religion worships three main gods in the abstract form of the Linga and Yoni, which symbolize Yin and Yang. In the Sanscrit language, Linga and Yoni represent masculinity and femininity. The religion reflects the idea that there is Yin and Yang in the universe. The Linga and Yoni are the main worshiping objects in the main temple.”
Most of the towers are built of brick with a sophisticated technique. Stone pillars are decorated with bas-reliefs of sandstone depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. These are delicate and expressive sculptures reflecting the Champa arts. Dat Chu, a Cham in Ninh Thuan says:“Champa culture is diverse and rich. Researchers never finish discovering the secrets of Champa culture hidden in every brick and stone. Not only me but all the Cham in Ninh Thuan are very proud”.
The architecture of My Son is the quintessence of Champa culture and arts.Wu Shang is a Chinese tourist: “I went to Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An and My Son because there are only a few world cultural heritage sites left. I have visited several shrines in the world but I must say that My Son is particularly well preserved.”
My Son is known as a beautiful cultural treasure of the ancient Cham people and a lively architectural museum of the aesthetics of humanity. Despite ravages of war and time, My Son Sanctuary stands as a witness to the history of the ancient Champa, and is an important part of the world’s cultural heritage.