Nha Trang is often associated with coastal tourism but Ponagar Nagar Cham Tower is an extraordinary place which has become a famous historical site chosen by many tourists. This is an extremely unique artistic and architectural work of the ancient Cham people that is worth experiencing. Let's explore the beauty and interesting stories related to Ponagar Towers Nha Trang with Vinpearl!
1. About Ponagar Cham Towers Vietnam
Ponagar is a special architectural complex which has long become a symbol of Nha Trang City as well as a top-rated destination for tourists. Below is some information about its location and history:
1.1. The location
- Address: 61 Hai Thang Tu Street, Vinh Phuoc, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa
- Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m
- Ticket fee: 21,000 VND/person/visit
Ponagar Cham Towers is about 2 kilometers away from the center of Nha Trang City to the North. It is located on Cu Lao Hill which is a 10-meter-high hill adjacent to Cai River. The natural scenery here is extremely beautiful with the harmony of mountains and rivers, which gives tourists a lot of enjoyable experiences.
From the city center, you can find it easy to go to Ponagar by making your way along Tran Phu Street to the North, crossing Tran Phu Bridge and turning onto Thap Ba Street. At the end of Thap Ba Street, you can see Po Nagar Cham Towers ahead.
1.2. The history
Ponagar Nha Trang is a complex of Cham Pa relics dating from the 7th to the 13th centuries. At that time, the Champa Kingdom was flourishing and Hinduism was still worshiped here. In the language of the Cham people, the word “Ponagar” in the name of the tourist attraction means "the mother of the country".
Beside the popular name, Ponagar Tower is also known as Yang Po Inu Nagar Tower or Yang Po Ana Gar because it was built to worship the Queen Po Ina Nagar. According to the beliefs of the Cham people, she was the goddess of creation, coming out of clouds and sea foam to give them bountiful harvests as well as a peaceful life.
Accordingly, this temple complex has special significance in the spiritual life of the Cham people and contains the artistic quintessence of Cham culture. In 1979, Ponagar Tower was classified as a national monument located in Nha Trang.
2. The structural beauty of Ponagar Cham Towers in Nha Trang
Ponagar Cham Towers stand out thanks to its unique architecture with the 4 main areas as shown below:
2.1. The gate tower
This is a monumental welcome gate to Ponagar with the shape and the architecture in harmony with the overall temple area. Through the wear and tear of time, the tower no longer stands, save for the stone steps leading to the middle floor.
2.2. The vestibule (Mandapa)
Going through the gate tower, you come to the vestibule area, which is called Mandapa. According to historical research, this is the place for Cham people to prepare offerings before performing the ceremony.
Currently, this place only has 2 main rows of columns made of octagonal fired bricks. Each row has 5 large columns and 6 small columns that are aligned with each other. This middle floor is connected to the top floor by a series of brick steps with a rather steep slope.
2.3. The temple and tower area (Kalan)
The temple complex located on the top floor consists of 2 towers surrounded by 4 stone walls, but now only the West and South walls remain. The front row in this area has 3 towers of which the tallest one is the Tower of Lady Ponagar. As for the row of towers behind, there used to be 3 other towers lying parallel to each other, but now only 1 remains.
All of the towers here were baked-brick-built with special techniques. The tops of the pillars are decorated with dome-shaped patterns. Meanwhile, there are many terracotta statues and reliefs with images of gods, fairies, or precious animals on the body of the tower. At present, the structure of the tower complex is still quite solid despite the time.
2.4. The inscription area
Another highlight in the complex of Ponagar Cham Towers Nha Trang is the long-standing stela with a memorial inscription. These stela have great cultural and historical value and are associated with a particular landmark in history.
The first stele contains the legend of the Thien Y Ana Holy Mother. In 1856, its content was translated into Han Nom by Phan Thanh Gian. Erected in 2010, the stele, introducing the overall monument of Ponagar Temple in the national language, is recognized as the last stele in the complex.
3. The special cultural festival at Ponagar Tower you should join
Many tourists often choose to come to Ponagar Cham Towers in the third lunar month to offer incense and pray for their good life. In addition, at that time, you will have the opportunity to experience the largest Cham festival of the Central Highlands and South Central regions.
This festival is associated with the legend of worshiping Thien Y Ana Holy Mother. It takes place with many unique folk religious activities such as shadow dance (mua bong), lion dance, listening to prayers for peace,...
4. The ultimate guide for your tour to Ponagar Cham Towers
To have the most convenient trip to Ponagar Cham Towers in Nha Trang, you should note some information as follows:
- About how to get around: Ponagar Tower is located close to the city center so you can choose to go there by many different means of transportation such as cars, motorbikes, buses,...
- About the weather: The dry season in Nha Trang is from January to September, which is very convenient for sightseeing and photography.
- About clothing: Ponagar is a cultural and architectural tourist destination. There is no specific requirement for clothing, yet you should choose a polite outfit to show your respect to the sanctity of the site.
In addition, Ponagar Cham Towers are best suited for a half-day excursion. Therefore, you should choose to stay at the nearby resorts or hotels in order to experience Nha Trang tourism in the best way.
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Nha Trang City is always full of interesting things for tourists to experience. Coming to Ponagar Cham Towers in this city, you can not only explore the unique architecture of the ancient Cham period but also get relaxed thanks to the peaceful atmosphere there. This is really one of the interesting tourist attractions to make your journey to the South Central region more fantastic.