Ponagar Tower locates on a hill 2km north of Nha Trang city. Not-far distance makes this place become one of the attractive destinations for plenty of guests when visiting this beach city, especially for spiritual tourists.
- Address: Hai Thang Tu Street, Vinh Phuoc District, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam
- Opening time: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
- Entrance fee: 22,000 VND/guest
- Worshipping the deity: Yan Po Nagar (Thien Y Ana)
- Name meanings: Ponagar in Cham language means Mother country.
- Ponagar Tower in Vietnamese: Thap Ba
Built from the 8th – 13th centuries, Ponagar is now like a timeless work and retains its majestic beauty.
With a legend about the goddess Thien Y Ana – the fairy who taught the people here to cultivate the plants to make textiles. This area plays an important role in the spiritual-religious life of the locals, becoming one of the famous Nha Trang attractions.
The architecture of the Ponagar Tower
Thap Ba has the appearance of a red-brick colour, imprinted with the architecture of the ancient Cham kingdom.
The entire complex consists of 3 floors, bearing the unique style of the brick building for worshipping the Hindu goddesses and gods.
Up to now, the gate tower is no longer there, only remains are the pillars and stone steps leading up to the second floor: Mandapa.
Mandapa in Cham language means retreat house, where pilgrims rest and prepare offerings to present to the goddess.
Step to the highest floor, the 23-meters tower will appear in front of your eyes, magnificent and majestic.
- The tower is built of bricks connected to each other, not use any adhesive at all.
- The inside of the building is empty to the top with a door facing to the East.
- The outside of the tower body has many edges, pillars, and beautiful motifs.
- Also, the body of the tower has many terracotta statues and reliefs, including pictures of fairies, animals such as deer, golden geese, lions, the goddess Ponagar, and god Tenexa.
Symbolizing beauty, art, and creativity, goddess Ponaga is reverently worshipped at the main temple, also known as Thap Ba. This temple has four floors with doors, statues and stone animals on each floor.
Many researchers explained the major building is a masterpiece of Cham sculpture, a harmonious combination of the carving-circular statue, and embossed techniques.
Besides worshipping the goddess Ponagar, some other towers worship God Shiva, god Sanhaka and god Ganesha.
The important ceremony at Ponagar Tower
The area of Ponagar tower is the most crowded on the annual ceremony from the 20th to 23rd of the third lunar month every year (around the beginning of April)
At this time, the relic of Ponagar Tower will welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to the ceremony, offering incense to the goddess to pray for the good things.
This ceremony is the second largest one in the South Central and Central Highlands regions of Vietnam.
Worshipping the goddess Thien Y Thanh Mau Ana shows the habit of the Vietnamese people considering the vital roles of the mother – lady in life.
Most people believe that the lady can create life and teach the public to cultivate and maintain the activities of daily life.
Thus, when joining the Ponagar ceremony, you can learn more about the spiritual belief of the locals about the lady and life.