Ponagar Temple Towers in Nha Trang Khanh Hoa

Chủ nhật , 29/12/2013, 22:34 GMT+7 / vietnamtripadvisor.net
Ponagar Tower is located in Vinh Phuc Ward, Nha Trang City in Khanh Hoa Province. The tower was built in the 8th century by the Cham people and the culture of the Cham is the most unique symbol of the same site, there are a wooden temple.

The temple was later rebuilt of bricks and stones. The temple was destroyed by Java in 774 and they took away the gold statue of Bhagavati. The King restores the temple later and works was finished in 784. Later Kings also built more towers to the new complex.

It is said that the complex had had six temples altogether, only four of them left nowadays.The complex divided into two sections: the Mandaga area and the tower area. The Mandaga area has an area of 1,100 meter and consists of four rows of brick pillars but without wall surrounding. It is said that the Cham people did preparatory religious practices in the Mandaga are before a main activity at the tower. The old bath with 36 steps for climbing to to reach the tower was deteriorated and another path of more than 100 stone steps was replaced.

After climbing 100 stone steps, you can reach the tower. It containts four floors, each has entrance. There are two rows of 10 large pillars and two small pillars on the two sides in front of the relic complex. The second floor is the place for pilgrims to rest and prepare offerings and costumes before practicing the rite. In the four corners, there are four small towers. Inside the tower is a square temple and there is a statue of a goddess made of black granite. It is 2,6 m high and sit on a lotus- shaped stone base, at her back a stone plate with figures carved on both sides. The figure is female with bare breasts and 10 hands. The goddess is a mother with full breasts and stretch mark on her stomach attesting to prior childbirth. This statue is considered a masterpiece of the Cham sculpture.

Every year, Thap Ba Festival is held from March 20th to the 23rd according to the lunar calendar. There are many of Cham people’s traditional activities and people from all parts of the country will gather to praise the merits of Thien Y Tham Mau Ana, the Goddess who reclaimed new lands, kept the race alive, found the rice and taught the local people to cultivate and make handicraft products. Throughout the festival, many religious rites and cultural activities are operated in front of the main tower such as ceremonies to pray for peace, happiness and prosperity and performances of dancing, singing and acting out old stories.
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