Poshanu Cham Towers

One of the historical places to visit in Phan Thiet is the location of the Cham Towers, just seven kilometers away from the city.

Poshanu Cham TowersPoshanu Cham Towers | photo: Frank Fox (cc-by-sa)

Relics of the ancient Champa Kingdom

Entrance fees: 5000đ per person and 2000đ for parking the motorbike.
Open from 7:30 to 11:30 AM and from 13:00 to 16:39 PM

The Poshanu Cham Towers are located about 7 kilometers northeast of Phan Thiet on a hill that gives you an excellent overview over the area. Here in Phan Thiet, they are the only remnants of the once powerful Champa kingdom, that ruled the region from the 7th century until 1832, when the last independant part of Champa, Panduranga, fell to Vietnam.

Poshanu Cham TowersPoshanu Cham Towers | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

The largest tower, erected in the 9th century in Hoa Lai style, is dedicated to Shiva and inside the holy artifacts linga and yoni can be seen. The other two of the three remaning temple towers are dedicated to Agni and Nandi. Agni was among the most important gods in Vedic tradition and ruled fire, as well as sacrifice and devine wisdom. Nandi is the holy bull (or rather buffalo accrding to Cham traditions) who served as the gatekeeper of Shiva and Parvati, as well as occasionally as Shiva's mount.

Poshanu Cham TowersPoshanu Cham Towers | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

There was a temple as well, but now it's buried under the soil for about 300 years. A pagoda has been erected behind the hill.

The name of the famous landmark derives from Princess Po Sah Inu, the daughter of King Par Ra Cham Chanh. She lived around the 15th century and was worshipped at the towers as well. Her brother was the military governor of the region was named Po Thit and the fortification was therefore called Camp Po Thit, which the Vietnamese spelled Phan Thiet.

Poshanu Cham TowersPoshanu Cham Towers | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

Every year during the days of the Lunar New Year, Cham people gather and perform ceremonies in and around the restored landmarks as a prayer for luck. The most important ceremony is called Kate and still performed by many Cham who still follow Hinduism.

Phan Thiet ViewView on Phan Thiet from the hilltop | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

The Poshanu Towers are comparatively well preserved. Other Cham places of religious worship suffered a much worse fate. The building style and traditional decoration is typical for classic Cham craftsmanship.

Poshanu Cham TowersPoshanu Cham Towers | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

The main tower is 15 meters high, the second tower 12 meters and the third and smallest building measures only 4 meters. The recognized national architectural and artistic monuments draw tourists from all over the world.

Poshanu Cham TowersPoshanu Cham Towers | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

On top of the hill you can see a square tower overlooking the area. The tower itself lies in ruins and the path is flanked by concrete bunkers. This meanwhile sad tower belonged to the Nguyen Prince and was later an outpost of the French forces.

Poshanu Cham TowersPoshanu Cham Towers | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

The outpost has been taken by surprise in June 1947 and the adjacent palace levelled to the ground. If you take a closer look and try to ignore the military fortifications, the tower must have been a nice little lookout, surrounded by lush gardens, as the remnants of terraces indicate.

Poshanu Cham TowersPoshanu Cham Towers | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

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