My Son

Mỹ Sơn, 70 km southwest of Da Nang, is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva and constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa. T

At one time, the site encompassed over 70 temples as well as numerous stele bearing historically important inscriptions in Sanskrit and Cham. It is often compared with other historical temple complexes in Southeast Asia, such as Borobudur in Indonesia, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar and Ayutthaya in Thailand. As of 1999, My Son has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

In 1937, French scholars began to restore the temples at Mỹ Sơn. However, many historical buildings were destroyed during the Vietnam War. United States B52 aircraft carpet-bombed the region in August 1969. The surrounding area is still rendered dangerous through the presence of unexploded land mines.

Although many statues have been removed to France or to historical museums in Vietnam, such as the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Da Nang, others can be viewed in a temporary museum that has been set up on site in two of the temples.

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On to Nha Trang

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