Po Nagar is a Cham temple tower founded sometime before 781 and located on the Cu Lao hill, at Cai estuary, in Nha Trang province.
It is dedicated to Po Ina Nagar who in Vietnamese is called Thien Y Thanh Mau
Old documents reveal that construction of the towers was carried out multiple times.The first towers were razed in a war, then re-built in 774, and demolished again by another war.The current standing towers were built in 965 by King Jaya Indravarman I. The main tower, 22.48 meters high, is the biggest and most splendid one and is dedicated to Po Nagar, known as the Goddess of the Cham people.
Po Nagar was believed to be the Goddess that taught the local people civilization, taught them to do agricultural work and protected their life.
The goddess has 10 arms: one pair rests on her knees with the right hand forming a symbol of peace and the left hand open to bestow happiness; another four pairs carry various weapons demonstrating her power and ingenuity.
Her chest is bare, displaying her breasts and a belly marked by four deep wrinkles.
Bricks were used in the building of Po Nagar tower.
The four-side structure is topped by a pyramid with a statue at the apex of the four-arm Shiva riding Nandin the enchanted ox.
The exterior of the tower is covered by intricate rock carvings of dancers, people rowing boats and grinding rice, or hunters with bows and arrows.
The original gate of the complex was destroyed and you don’t see the Gate Tower nowadays. Near the gate, there are lines of brick pillars leading to the main temple. There used to be a roof on top of these pillars but it was destroyed in the past. This was a house without wall for the pilgrims to rest and to get prepared before entering the temples.
Getting closer to the pillars and rub your hand on them, you’ll see they all have very fine and smooth surface without moss. And you won’t see any glue-like materials in between the bricks. This is still a secret of ancient Cham construction skills. From time to time, someone claims to have found out the glue which is resin from a type of trees available in the Central Region of Vietnam. But, keep in mind that the Cham ruins in Vietnam are still in degradation and there haven’t been good solutions protecting them yet. Definitely, it’s necessary to understand the materials and techniques the ancient Cham used to protect their architectural heritage.
Some photos about Po Nagar tower
Have a nice weekend!!!:))