KHANH HOA – Ponagar – typical works of architectural art of the Cham people were built from the 8th century to the 13th century.
Ponagar tower, also known as Thap Ba, is located on Cu Lao hill, beside the river of Nha Trang city (Khanh Hoa). The time the tower was built was also the period when Hinduism (Hinduism) flourished in the ancient kingdom of Champa.
Legend has it that the goddess Thien YA Na Thanh Mau is a fairy who descended on earth, having been credited with teaching people to grow rice, raise silkworms, weave cloth … .
According to folklore researchers, the overall architecture of Ba Tower has 3 floors, going from bottom to top. On the lower floor, across the ground, the gate tower is no longer present. The middle floor is the guest house, the retreat house for guests to rest, prepare costumes, prepare offerings and rituals before the ceremony. There are still two main rows of columns made of octagonal bricks.
The top floor is where the four towers are located, the towers are built in the Cham style, completely built of bricks, without adhesive. The heart of the tower is empty to the top, the door of the tower turns to the East. The outside of the tower body has many edges, pillars, matches.
On the top of the pillars, there are usually decorative bricks in the shape of the dome, looking like a small tower placed on a large tower. On the body of the tower there are many terracotta statues and reliefs, including Po Nagar, Tenexa, fairies, animals: deer, golden goose, lion …
The main tower is about 23 m high, worshiping the goddess Po Nagar. The tower has 4 floors, each floor has doors, statues and stone animals, in the four corners there are 4 small towers. Previously, the goddess statue was carved with gold and incense.
Currently the goddess statue is carved in black marble sitting on a majestic lotus-shaped pedestal, her back is like a large linden-shaped stone tablet inside the tower. This is a masterpiece of Champa sculpture, a harmonious combination of circular and embossed statue techniques. On the top of the tower, there is a statue of Shiva riding Nandin, and mascot statues such as swans, goats …
The remaining three towers worship Siva, one of the three supreme gods of India, god Sanhaka, god Ganeca, son of god Siva. In addition, in the architectural complex still retains many of the oldest stelae of the Cham people, recording the praises of the Holy Mau, listing the tributes to build towers along with land offerings …
Ponagar tower is a unique and unique architectural complex of the Cham people, ranked by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as a national historical monument in 1979. The Ponagar Tower Festival takes place from 21-23. / 3 lunar year each year, is the National Intangible Cultural Heritage and ranked as one of 16 national level festivals.
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