Discovering My Son Holy Land – A World Cultural Heritage

My Son Sanctuary, a unique cultural heritage site on the coast of contemporary Vietnam, owing its spiritual origins to the Hinduism of India during the 4th to 13th centuries.

This is graphically illustrated by the remains of a series of impressive tower temples in a dramatic site that was the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence. Let’s Discovering My Son Holy Land – world cultural heritage

The more I discover, the more I feel how interested it is! It is absolutely a secrete heritage site make me so curious about it. Let’s discover its history mystical legend:

If you come to My Son, the first thing should be known is the “Plan of My Son Relics”. It consists of B, C, D, A, G, E, F, H Group. It was named when The French Researcher come here to discover a hundred years ago, on each group is the Latin Letters. Before the French came, it consists of 72 works located on 9 hills. Nowadays, the group G, E, F, H don’t have sightseeing anymore, we just can be visit Group A, B, C, D.

my son plan of relics

Anyway, still be lucky there still exist the piece of bricks from 8th century and the latest works of My Son Sanctuary are also present here. But be noted that after the 13th century Cham Pa dynasty didn’t build the temple here, built at Southern Viet Nam.

As you know, My Son Sanctuary is most of works was built by bricks, but here still has the only stone works of Cham Pa in the 13th century.

In the first time, the Cham Pa was under influenced of Indian in fields of region, culture, architecture. After the 9th -10th century, beside Indian architecture

My Son appeared new architecture imported from other cultures such as Indonesia or even North of Viet Nam. All made My Son outstanding values to become a world’s cultural heritage.

We continue moving to the site of Group B, C, and D

My Son located on a valley which has holy mountain, holy land, Holy River. It is the reason why we have My Son Holy Land nowadays. Before the French come, it consists of 72 towers, some are temples, and some are not.

On your left hand side, Block C, the oldest relics, was built in the 8th century and 10th century for the next one. On your right hand side, Block B, where has stone temple. In the middle is Block D. It is a complex B C D.

In My Son a thousand years ago, it is the place for worship, before it’s boomed; the French found at least 27 Hindu structures was built in different area from 10th to 13th century.

The oldest relic was built in the 8th century and the bad looking with black one was built in the 20th century, it carried the architecture of late 10th century by Indonesia indefinite(đậm nét Indonesia).

Explanation for C1 temple: you will see the broken brick, cement. It is the new built. We built it to support the original work. There is no adhesive layer between the brick (chất kết dính). The original brick is a color of 10th century and the new built color is of 20th century.

We didn’t see the green moss between brick but the new one has. How can the Cham People do it? It is the technique to stick the bricks together: The French archaeologist they come and studied that The ancient Cham People use a paste prepare with resin oil on the forest, then they took the natural oil from the tree, they use it as the glue to stick these brick together. They took the clay under the ground on the coast near the river.

They put the clay under the sun dry in 3 days, after that they cut it into small pieces and they move clay closely to get brick powder, after that they stick brick together with the oil prepared, then they start built the wooden frame outside to protect the temple in case it fall down, then they put a lot of wood in and fire it, burn the brick. You will see the different from the top to the bottom. They burn from the top to the bottom.

All the status here is the priest (giáo sĩ) with the head are fake, you know who took these head. It is French

The Hindu Cham People didn’t live here, they just come here to build the structure to worship and bury the king in here, then they left.

The temple B1 is the only temple made by sandstone (đá Sa Thạch) was destroyed by US Army. Why they had to boom B1? Because the president Nilsson he thought My Son was the hidden base of Viet Cong

French Colonist called Viet Minh, American called Viet Cong), that why the American Army boomed the site in order to kill Viet Cong. Unlucky, they made a mistake, they are wrong information, wrong area, My Son was not the hidden base of Viet Cong, they hided outside the forest not inside. They boomed from the top, it was high around 19 meters. It was destroyed since that day. You will see on the back of Block B have a big boom crater (hố bom)

We can see many handwriting letters on the sandstone pillar, what is that, what languages they used, it is an interested question for you to explore.

Over thousand year ago My Son linked to the Angkor Walt (Cambodia), they used the Sanskrit language, (Sanskrit writing), it come from South of Indian, very beautiful and nobody know what is it mean?

The main temple in Block C, we will explain the C1 temple. You see the status here was the priest, the head is fake, you know who cut the head and took it, it is the French, different to the Angkor Wat, someone took the head the sold for money. In My Son here, they the French took the head and brought to the Louise’s Museum to display it.

Move to inside the temple worship – 8th century. It is very dark here, you can take your camera and took the picture on the top, and you can see what happen there, what is the structure look like.

It was built from 800 year ago, much earlier than Angkor Wat. On the bottom, it is 1.5m thick, but from the top it is 4.5m thick. Did you see it is different to our construction structure today, we normally build the foundation very hard and stable from the bottom thicker to the top. But to the ancient Cham People, they did different; they built the top thicker more than the bottom.

Look beside you in the middle, it is an altar, female symbol, it is why you see in the middle has the hole, look around it is same of female, before it has a linga on the top – a symbol of male, the man power panic to put inside. Male and female here touch close together, then they took the holy water from the sky and the holy milk from the cow to scarified, then they dance around, after that they drink the mix holy water come out from this hold. Inside the temple just only man come and lady are not allow to come.

Now the linga already lost, who took it. It is French. Who do the ceremony here? It is the priest ( tu sĩ). Under the ground 2 meters, what is that, that is the king ashes, when they died, they burn the body and select the ashes and put into a pot the buried here.

You know where is the Cham People live today, which part in Viet Nam. It is Mekong Delta, they left My Son long long time ago around 1000 years ago. On the second century, the Champa move down to here from Indonesia, then Kingdom of Champa was found in this area. On a thousand years ago, Vietnamese didn’t live here, step by step, many years, many centuries after that we occupied, that why the Cham People are lost in 1832, they move down to Mekong Delta.

 Inside the other temple (where has 2 gates), gate for meditation. It has lots of Indian style on the table. Show the weapon of the boom, we found it under ground, after Viet Nam War, My Son is a very dangerous place, nobody came here, then we co-operated with the Germany Army, they support us with the equipment to start clean the ground to find the landmine (vỏ mìn).

You will see the different in 2 walls. One is the brick wall constructed over 1,000 year ago, but it still keep the same color, and still total new. In contrast, look at the other brick wall, they are appear gress moss full of the wall, this wall reconstructed in 20 years ago, but they look so terrible. If we compare in 2 wall we admired that the ancient Cham People are so intelligent in doing the construction brick, the modern people are not brilliant more than them.

Move to outside, you will see the Linga and Yoni is broken, in 1969 this altar was damaged, after Vietnamese War, someone came here lift the altar up and activated the ground and took the pot of ashes (hài cốt) which inside have lots of gold, very sad. And when the French come here they also took lots of altar in here.


The god of Ganesa is the sun of Siva(a god of destruction, have many arm and head). Siva killed the god of Ganesa and cut the head off and then put the head of elephant on. Ganesa had a head of elephant and body is human. Up the Ganesa is the holy bird, it is Gruda- another Hindu god- a god of sky. It is the reason why in Indonesia had Gruda airline.

Temple has elephant, the name of elephant is Ganesa, the name of lion is Sihabura, the name of holy cow is Nandi, that human figures is a monk/ priest. 3 pillars on the window is 3 god – Drama, Visnow,and Siva.


my son

Moving to Group, G, E, F. On the temple G ( big temple has old and new brick).

Front of the temple has the Yoni, they make the hold in the middle to put the linga to do scarified.

Sankrit writing plate, it is the hand written by the monk, they wrote from the wright to left, from bottom to the top, no one else can translate it.

The temple is reconstructed of the temple by Vietnam government, UNESCO, Italy.

We will discover a temple without proof, just has the foundation. The temple was built from the 13th centuries and destroyed by the war, the University of Italy came to do research.

The foundation is not made from stone but from clay brick. They took the sticky clay from underground outside not inside here, then they break and join them together to make structure to build the temple. How did they put them together without motar, cement? How did they make the rock, look the rock from the opposite mountain, they took the rock from there and what kind of rock are they?, they are sandstone ( đá sa thạch). How did they transport the rock to here, the rock here are so big and heavy, how they bring to here?

We studied that before they built the temple, firstly they make stream connected the river to the waterfall, then the water flow out down here, they used stream water power and elepants and slaves people rolling together to transfer the rock down to the valley, then step by step the builder cut them into small pieces to make column, block then join them together.

Moving to F1 temple ( the one is cover by steel on the way to Group G,E,F).

The temple F1 is 25 meters high, it was built in the 9 century. It is the holy temple, just the king and the monk inside, they worship the god of Siva, the god of destruction, destroyed. In each temple worship an altar which scarified linga and Yoni. Linga is a simple of a man, Yoni is a simple of female. Linga and Yoni combine together for create the human being. It is the circle of the nature.

In My Son has 3 things. My Son was the land of Kingdom of God, My Son was the land of Champa King, My Son was the land of legend.

Explanation the symbol of Linga: It has 3 different part ( from the bottom to the top)

  • The bottom part: It is Brama – the god of creature
  • The middle part: It is Visnow – the god of protection
  • The top part: It is Siva- the god of destruction

More information

Discovering My Son Holy LandMy Son Holy LandMy Son SanctuaryMy Son World Cultural Heritage site

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