Po Nagar Cham Towers – The Soul of the Cham

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The Po Nagar Cham Towers is one of the most popular destinations in Nha Trang. Coming here, you will be amazed at the architecture of Cham people that this tower has still remained.

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History and location

Commonly known as Thap Ba, the Po Nagar Cham Towers are a complex of temples erected approximately before 781 A.D. Po Nagar Cham temple complex was built between 8th and 11th centuries by the Cham people who once ruled the central plain of Vietnam. The Cham people, who were Hindu in origin, had their own Sanskrit-based script. They are renowned for their skills in sculpture and architecture and left behind a legacy of artifacts and temple settlements not only in Vietnam, but also Cambodia and Thailand.

Po Nagar Cham Tower (via vietnamfamouslandscape)

In the 14th century, the Kingdom of Champa fell into the hand of the invading Viet, whose descendants are today the Vietnamese people. A small minority of Cham people, now an ethnic minority, still live in the central plain somewhere near Danang. Although most Cham people have converted to Islam, they still worship their gods at Po Nagar Cham Towers during annual religious festival of Thap Ba, which falls around the end of April and the beginning of May. Po Nagar Cham Towers were built to honour the goddess Po Nagar- literally translated as ‘The mother of the Country‘ -who is said to have taught agricultural and weaving skills to the Cham people. Later, historians have come to identify Po Nagar with the Hindu goddesses Bhagavati, the wife of Shiva, and Durga, the buffalo-demon slayer. The Po Nagar Towers are now situated on a mountain called Cu Lao, in downtown Nha Trang and next to Cai River.

What to see

Compared to the original design, the towers nowadays have only a few differences (except for the Golden Dome which has been robbed by pirates). The four Po Nagar Towers today are truly beautiful and charming. Each of them was built to dedicate to a unique deity.

Po Nagar Cham Tower (via pinterest.dk)

The largest, which is 23m high, was built in 817 AD and contains a linga and a statue dedicated to Ponagar, who is said to have taught new agricultural and weaving techniques to people of the area. The towers of Po Nagar Cham are square red brick structure with protruding support frames and tapering roofs. There were once ten buildings, each dedicated to a different deity, but now only four remain. The tallest building, at 25 metres, the Po Nagar Kalan, is the most impressive. Here, Po Nagar was worshipped and, according to historical stone inscriptions, animal sacrifices were made in her honour. The central tower is in honour of Cri Cambhu who blesses devotees with fertility, ence childless couples often visit and pray there. The North West tower is in honour of Sanhaka, a wood cutter and foster father to Ponagar. The tower in the south was dedicated to Ganeca, the daughter of Ponagar.

If you are interesting in history, you can be amazed to find hundreds of ancient relics displayed inside the complex. If you love taking travel photographs, the promontory on which the towers stand has a fantastic view of Cai River and the village on the riverside. If you want to discover the hidden charm of the Cham people’s culture, you can watch as many traditional dance shows as you want. 

For more information about Attractions, please our website. If you have any questions,feel free to let us know. Have a nice trip!