The Po Nagar Tower complex in Nha Trang Vietnam
The Po Nagar Tower complex is situated right at the gate of the City. If you stay at any Nha Trang hotel around the centre, it can very well be within your walking distance. Visiting the Tower, you may have chance to explore and gain new knowledge of the historical and architectural values of Vietnam. Especially, if you come in lunar March, you may have chance to take part in the Po Nagar Tower Festival which is often organized on 22nd. In the festival days, local people in general and Cham people in particular, carry out traditional rituals solemnly with many other activities.
All the Towers are constructed with bricks and decorated with the main material of rock and pottery. The patterns are closely connected with the gods worhiped there. The sculpture works are made according to various themes in Brahman religion such as the round statues inside the tower (which are now displayed in Khanh Hoa province Museum). These artistic works attached with the Tower complex have created one of the most beautiful fields of Vietnamese's art despite their Indian origine. The complex has undergone much improvement and uprgade. The statue of Ponagar Goddess is made from rock of 2,6 meters high with 10 arms and put on a large and square-shaped Yoni.
Ponagar Tower complex comprises six kalans, the worship tower and several complementary constructions. This architecture complex, especially the biggest tower - Ponagar Tower (also called Tháp Bà) - plays a great role in Cham people's artistic and religious aspects.
The original beauty of the Ponagar Tower has much been destroyed through time, by the nature conditions as well as the social changes and war. Today, the Tower complex just includes four towers and two lines of big brick pillars at the foot of the hill. The four towers that we can see today are even not in their original state since the outside architecture, specifically the roofs, are much destroyed. These tower are the main tower, Nam tower, Southeast Temple and Northwest Temple with different shapes and constructed in different periods of time.
From 2000 to 2003, the Tower had been repaired and improved, and since then it has become a place of cultural interest for tourists who visit Nha Trang City.