The Mỹ Sơn Site

Hindu Temple. One of the 70 Hindu Temples at the Mỹ Sơn Site in central Vietnam The last page Go to another page. showed some of the artefacts gathered into the museum at Da Nang, which were taken from the site at Mỹ Sơn (sounds a bit like 'Mihi Sern'), this page shows the site, or at least those bits of it which have survived the daily encroachment of the jungle, and the many wars, particularly the destruction caused by the American bombing of the area. Information was minimal at the time these pictures were taken in 2011, lamely too many captions just have to say 'Temple'. Jungle encroaching. Jungle wins every battle hands down here in the heat and humidity of central Vietnam Temples in the undergrowth From some angles the temple complex appears extensive... Lingam and ruins. ...from others all that remains are the piles of rubble left by the bombing. Here one of the many lingam still stands Monuments under restoration. Some of the oldest buildings are partially supported and protected The Sanctuary Building. Mỹ Sơn was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site Go to another site. in 1999 Central temple. This whole temple complex seems to have been a religious and cultural centre for the Champas, separate from the political centre Central area. The temples grouped around the central area were mostly built in the ninth and tenth centuries at the height of the Champa regime Temple. Officially the whole site is the Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, a phrase also used for this one building Passageway and lingam. Passageway with one of the many lingams that dot the site Guard and monuments. A guard watches over his monuments and the stream of photographers that try to capture them Temples near the entrance. Temples near the entrance Floral carving on a column. Floral carving on a column Figure carvings. Two figure carvings with headdresses Oldest area of building. Old brick carvings. This corner of protected brickwork (left), has some of the oldest carvings, dating from the eighth century. In the picture above is a Buddha figure (right) and a dancing Hindu figure (left) Stela with inscription. This strange script is written Cham, which is a descendent of the Indian Brahmi script. Brahmi was in use from about 2,300 years ago, notably for writing Sanskrit which was previously a purely oral language. Thus it was one of the first ways that speech, as opposed to the meaning of Chinese characters, was written down. View an enlarged image in a new window. Figures in wall. The remarkable thing about these carvings is that they are cut straight into the brick of the building. This process is still not fully understood, but it is likely that the building was constructed first of ready fired un-carved bricks, and that these were carved in situ Entrance to temple. Intact entrance to a temple Carving of dancer. One temple has been cleaned and a number of carvings assembled in it, including this Hindu dancer Elephants. Carving of elephants Regal statue. Statue of a regal figure Carving in brick wall. Figure in brick wall temples. The whole site retains an equivocal air, the encroaching jungle, the piles of rubble from the bombing, the warnings that visitors should keep to paths; and these temples, dotted across the landscape, seeming tousled and unshaven, and a little unsure of their ancestry: Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian. Altogether a special place with that ever rarer quality of unpolished, unprocessed immediacy The next page takes you to something more on Hindu culture: a wedding in Delhi, along with a few shots of less commonly seen aspects of the town. Hindu Wedding. line
Saturday 8th April 2017 Murphy on duty

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