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Well known as Thap Ba Po Nagar, Po Nagar Tower is an ancient cham temple complex located in Nha Trang, Vietnam. This temple was built by Cham people to honour the Hindu deity goddess Yan Po Naga. It boasts intricate carvings and red brick architecture which showcases the artistry of the Cham era. Being an active site of worship especially during the annual Thap Ba Festival, Po Nagar Tower is a vibrant historical site of significant cultural importance. If you are a history buff eager to know about Cham civilization’s architectural and religious heritage, then this place is a must visit destination.

Po Nagar Cham Towers History

Beautiful View of Po Nagar Tower.

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The Po Nagar cham Towers reveal cultural importance and significant history. This Cham temple tower was built between the 7th to 12th centuries and has become a prominent landmark reflecting the rich history of Cham civilization. The Cham people were extremely skilled in sculpture and architecture. These people constructed the tower as a place of pilgrimage and worship. The complex consists of many towers crafted from brick and stone, each dedicated to a specific religious purpose. As time passed by, the towers faced natural deterioration, the effects of war, and political upheaval. Many efforts are made to preserve the Po Nagar Cham Towers, as it is a symbol of architectural excellence and Cham heritage.

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Po Nagar Cham Towers Location

Hindu Goddess Durga carving on the entrance of the temple at Po Nagar Cham Towers.

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Po Nagar Tower is located on Cu Lao mountain, just two kilometres north of Nha Trang city centre, in Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam. Overlooking the Cai River, this tower is located on the hill providing a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. These towers are positioned amidst lush greenery, adding to the picturesque ambience of the area.

Po Nagar Cham Tower Architecture

Po Nagar Cham Towers encapsulate the remarkable architectural prowess of the ancient Cham civilization. Comprising four main areas, each section of this sacred site unveils a unique facet of Cham artistry and spirituality.

1. The Gate Tower

Stunning brick and stone architecture Po Nagar Cham Tower

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Standing proudly at the entrance of the Po Nagar Cham Towers, the Gate Tower serves as a majestic prelude to the awe-inspiring complex beyond. Once a symbol of grandeur and strength, this structure still echoes the whispers of ancient rituals and bustling pilgrimages. Though time and the elements have taken their toll, the remnants of its former glory offer a tantalising glimpse into the architectural ingenuity of the Cham civilization.

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2.The Vestibule (Mandapa)

Vestibule (Mandapa) at Po Nagar Cham Towers.

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After passing through the gate tower, you will discover The vestibule (Mandapa). In this place, offerings were prepared before conducting the rite. This building encapsulates two main rows of octagonal-fired brick columns. Each row has 5 aligned large columns and 6 aligned small columns. Here, you can find steeply sloping brick steps connecting the top floor to the middle floor.

3. The Temple And Tower Area (Kalan)

Statue of Lady Po Nagar at Po Nagar Cham Towers.

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In front of this area, there are three towers in a row with the Tower of Lady Po Nagar being the tallest. These towers were built using unique methods and baked bricks. Across the surface of the towers, many terracotta figurines and reliefs are displayed, portraying gods, fairies, and legendary creatures.

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4. The Inscription Area

Ancient inscriptions at Po Nagar Cham Towers.

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Here you can find old steles with memorial inscriptions, which are the main highlight of this place. They are linked to a significant historical moment and hold historical and cultural value. The first steles reveal the story of Y Ana, Holy Mother. She is like a carrying mother who taught her people to learn weaving and farming, which helped in their livelihood. Every year, big celebrations are hosted in the memory of Y Ana, where people come together to share her stories to keep her presence alive. The final stele was built in 2010 and depicts the entire monument in the local language.

Po Nagar Cham Tower: Travel Guide

Discover the allure of ancient festivals, adhere to respectful dress codes, and prepare for varying weather conditions to make the most of your visit to this sacred site nestled in Nha Trang, Vietnam

1. Festivals At Po Nagar Cham Tower

Tourist exploring the Po Nagar Cham Tower.

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The annual festival at Po Nagar Cham Towers is conducted from the 21st to the 23rd of May of the Lunar Calendar( from the end of April to the start of May). During this time, many traditional activities take place, drawing the attention of many tourists worldwide. This festival is also known as Thap Ba Festival. This festival honours the Goddess Po Nagar (Yan Po Nagar), who is deemed the land’s protector and founder.

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2. Dress Code At Po Nagar Cham Tower

Dancers wearing traditional dresses during festival

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While visiting this place it is advised to wear modest clothes as it is a place of worship. Pay respect to this place, by opting for breathable clothes that cover your knees, chest and shoulders. Also, wear proper footwear by which you can walk comfortably.

3. Weather At Po Nagar Cham Tower

Scenic view of Po Nagar Cham Towers amidst lush greenery.

Image Credit:Ms Sarah Welch for wikimedia commons

The weather at Po Nagar Cham Tower is humid and warm, with a tropical climate prevailing all throughout the year. January to August is the dry season, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). September to December begins the rainy season with frequent thunderstorms and rainfall. The temperature remains quite warm, ranging from 23°C to 30°C (73°F to 86°F). Visitors should be all set to experience sudden downpours. It is highly advisable to check the weather conditions before heading to this place.

How To Reach Po Nagar Cham Tower

reach to the vietnam by train.

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By Road
The Po Nagar Cham Tower, located hardly 2km away from Nha Trang city centre, offers convenient access by road. For those travelling from other cities in Vietnam, such as Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang, you can access this place by bus or car. Once in Nha Trang, travellers can start a short journey to the towers, enjoying the beautiful views along the way. You can also rent a motorbike or scooter, offering flexibility and convenience to explore the city.

By Air
The tower is located at 2 Thang 4 Street, Vĩnh Phuoc, Nha Trang, Vietnam. To reach Po Nagar Cham Tower by air, one should travel to Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR), 35 kilometres south of Nha Trang. From here, you can take a shuttle bus or taxi that heads towards Nha Trang city centre. Once you are in the city, you can reach this place by motorbike, local bus, or taxi.

By Rail
If you opt for the rail option, travel to Nha Trang Railway Station. From here, you can take a short taxi ride directly heading towards Po Nagar Cham Tower. For those preferring public transport, Local buses are also available.

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Po Nagar Cham Tower: Nearby Attractions

Apart from exploring the towers, visitors can spare some time and enrich their travel experience by exploring the nearby attractions, which include beautiful beaches, ancient churches, serene pagodas and more.

1. Long Son Pagoda

 Long Son Pagoda, a famous Buddhist temple

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Long Son Pagoda is a Buddhist temple, which is famous for its towering white Buddha statue, standing 24 metres in height. You will fall in love with the beautiful architecture of Pagoda and enjoy lovely views of Nha Trang from its hilltop location. Being the oldest temple, this place draws the attention of a wide range of tourists. With its impressive architecture, this place will bring out your spiritual essence. Besides this, you will be impressed by the lush green gardens and architecture encircling the temple. This masterpiece is designed so that you feel peace and tranquillity by visiting here.

Timings: Opens 24 hours
Address: No. 22 on 23/10 Street, Phuong Son Ward, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam

2. Nha Trang Cathedral

Majestic view of Nha Trang Cathedral, a famous attraction near Po Nagar Tower.

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Nha Trang Cathedral, also known as Christ the King Cathedral, is a majestic church located in the heart of Nha Trang. This 80-year-old church is 12 metres high with a total area of 700 square metres. Positioned in close proximity to Po Nagar Cham Towers, reflects a Gothic-style church and is a prominent landmark of the city. The attractive facade and intricate details enhance the allure of the structure. The colourful stained glass windows offer visitors a perfect glimpse of architectural splendour and Nha Trang’s religious heritage. Reflecting its beautiful classic European style, this church attracts tourists worldwide.

Timings: 5:30 am to 5:00 pm
Address: 31 Thai Nguyen, Phuoc Tan, Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa

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3. Nha Trang Beach

Crystal clear waters of Nha Trang Beach

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Well known for its crystal clear water, white sand, and vibrant ambience, this Nha Trang Beach is a perfect place to visit. This place is spanning across 6 kilometres on the eastern shoreline of the city. Tourists can soak up the sun on the soft sands, swim in the calm waters, or participate in water sports like parasailing, jet skiing, snorkelling and scuba diving. Besides this, you will definitely enjoy shopping and dining here. This beach is bordered by resorts, palm trees and beachfront cafes, creating a picturesque coastline offering abundant moments for relaxation.

Timings: 8:00 am to 8.00 pm
Address: 68 Tran Phu, Nha Trang, Vietnam

Further Read: Places To Visit In Vietnam

Built between the 7th and 12th centuries, this place is an icon of the region’s historical heritage. You will definitely appreciate the intricate carvings and the well-preserved towers of this place. All of these, including the enduring practice of Hindu cham rituals depict the significance of Po Nagar as a cultural and religious centre. Book a trip to Vietnam and pay a visit to this ancient temple to explore the spiritual fervour of the Cham civilization.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Po Nagar Tower

Which are the festivals or events conducted at Po Nagar Tower?

Thap Ba (Po Nagar) Festival is the annual festival held at Po Nagar Tower. The festival attracts several pilgrims and tourists from all over the world who come to participate in the rituals and enjoy the cultural performances.

What is the meaning of Po Nagar?

How old is Ponagar Tower?

Built in the 8th century, the temple is approximately 1,200 to 1,300 years old. Ponagar Tower is an ancient Cham temple and a main spiritual site for the locals as well as the visitors.

What is the best time to visit Po Nagar Tower?

The best time to visit Po Nagar Tower is from January to August, because the weather is not too hot and the temperature is cooler making it perfect for hassle-free vacation.

Who constructed the Po Nagar Tower?

Po Nagar Tower was constructed by the Cham people. It showcases the magnificent craftsmanship of the Cham people and is a fine example of the architectural heritage of the civilization.

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