Friday, April 15, 2011

Nhạn tower in Tuy Hòa

The tower was built on a flat ground, close to Nhạn mountain, on Northern side of Đà Rằng river, near national road N0 1, Tuy Hòa town, Phú Yên province.

Photo: Vĩnh Cát
Legends vary on the mountain, but actually, it looks like a tern ready to fly. The road to the tower is wide enough, even for  bus to move on. The lofty tower was built on an area of 1,000m2, the ground was laid with bricks and always kept clean and it’s to worship the spiritual god of Chăm minority people since 2nd century. The tower is 4-storied and quadrilateral-shaped, smaller at the top and bigger at the foot.

The tower is 20m high, square at the foot and each side is 11m long. There are no decorations on the walls. The central door is bow-shaped with a monster on top which looks like a conical hat and a linga, a thing usually worshipped by Chăm people.

Like other Chăm towers, Nhạn is damaged by time and nature. It’s almost unlike it originally was but remain still are decorative and architectural styles of the ancient Chăm, the foot of the tower is laid with sandstones. Inside there’s a statue of goddess and visitors come and pray daily.
The tower is imposing-looking and loftily but it is very elegant and harmonious in architecture and of high value by Chăm minority people.

Behind the tower, there is a large stone (1,3m high and 0,9m large) carved with lotus flowers below. In the Southwest of the mountain, there’s another flat stone (5m high, 5m wide) carved in with ancient Chinese characters like a tomb-stone in Ponagar. These might be the only bibliography left. The tower is the symbol in architecture of the ancient Chăm in Phú Yên.

From the tower, the whole Tuy Hòa tower could be viewed. In the Southward is Đèo Cả mountain, on top there’s a colossal tomb-store, all year round covered by clouds. A little further is the Eastern sea, Đà Rằng river and the boundless rice-fields spreading to the Cả mountain. The scene is romantic and poetic. 

An image of a swallow is being built not far from the mountain. Visitors to Tuy Hòa always visit the tower, to understand the region’s cultural identity and the architecture by the ancient Chăm people.   

                                                                 MINH ĐỨC
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