Central and Southern Vietnam was once a part of the Champa kingdom along with Laos and Cambodia that lasted from the 5th to the 15th centuries. The height of its power and fame was between the 9th and 10th centuries. Vietnam’s central part is scattered with remains of ancient temples and religious complexes built during this period. Hinduism in the form of Shiva worship was the predominant religion of the time. Fronted by a pristine beach, Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa a prominent resort in Mui Ne offers easy access to the Champa ruins of the area.

Among the Cham ruins are the brick towers of the Po Shanu Temple complex located on a hilltop very close to Mui Ne that also provides good views of the surrounding area. Although overtaken by decay and neglect, the remains of three 9th century Cham towers still retain their grandeur. Typical of the religious structure of the time, what remains of the Po Shanu Temples are the red brick towers of two of the temples that probably housed deities and only a brick mound that denote the places where the other temple might have stood. Enough remains of the 15 meter high main structure to show the style of construction of the pointed arch entranceway and the interior of shrine room that have recesses to place statues. Local lore has it that the temple was dedicated to Po Shanu, the daughter of King Para Chanh, who had been famous for her talent and virtue. Excavations of the temple that has remained an important religious site among the locals, was accomplished only in the 1990s. Local fishermen apparently come here to pray for safe passage prior to setting out on long sea journeys. During the Lunar New Year the temple hosts the festivals of Rija Nuga and Po Mbang Yang to ensure good luck for the following year. A more recent pagoda on the site ministers to the needs of devotees.

Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+