Ponagar Tower is a long-standing historical building, located right on a high hill next to the Cai River, overlooking Nha Trang sea. This is one of four tourist attractions in the city (also known as City Tour):
First point: Aquarium Institute,
Second point: Hon Chong,
Third point: Thap Ba,
Fourth point: stone church
Fifth point: Long Son Pagoda
Located next to Xom Bong Bridge, Ponagar Tower witnessed many years of history of the coastal city of Nha Trang.
Right at the entrance to the gate is an overall map of the tourist area to give visitors the most general view.
History of Ponagar Tower
Ponagar Tower dates from the 8th to 13th centuries, built on Cu Lao hill to worship Goddess Ponagar, the Motherland of the Cham people. Since 1653, the Vietnamese people took over the temple tower and worshiped Thien YA Na Thanh Mau. The relic is an architectural complex including the gate tower, Mandapa and temple complex. Due to historical fluctuations, the monument currently only has remaining structures on two grounds:
Mandapa architecture has four rows of octagonal brick columns, including 10 large columns inside and 12 small columns surrounding the outside. There are currently only two main rows of octagonal brick columns, each side has 5 columns with a diameter of more than 1 meter and a height of more than 3 meters. Based on this structure, it is believed that this was originally a large building with a tiled roof, a place for pilgrims to rest and prepare offerings before going up to make offerings at the temples above. From this middle floor, there is a steeper set of brick steps leading to the top floor (this path is currently maintained and is not allowed for visitors).
Temple and tower area, including: Northeast tower (Main tower), South tower, Southeast tower, Northwest tower. All four towers were built in the style of Cham towers, the bricks were built very tightly, no adhesive was visible. The inside of the tower is hollow to the top, the tower door faces east. The outside of the tower body has many edges, pillars, and joints. On top of the pillars, decorative tiles with dome-shaped patterns are often placed, looking like a small tower placed on top of a large tower. On the body of the tower there are many terracotta statues and reliefs, including images of Po Nagar, the god Tenexa, and fairies.
The monument was built with burnt bricks and has statues, reliefs with decorative patterns, inscriptions... at the towers. With talent and creativity, Cham artisans combine harmony and sophistication between architecture and sculpture; along with many artistic styles that reflect the typical values of Champa culture.
Ponagar Tower is a convergence point of traditional values of the process of acculturation and cultural integration, contributing to the community cohesion of Vietnamese ethnic groups. Today, the monument is always restored, preserved and promoted as a cultural heritage value, and is a place to organize religious activities of people inside and outside the province.
In 1979, Ponagar Tower was ranked as a national historical-cultural relic. In 2012, Ponagar Tower Festival was recognized as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage. Thap Ba Festival takes place from the 21st to 23rd of the third lunar month every year.
Legend of Thien Ya na
Once upon a time. At Dai An Mountain (I call it Chua Mountain), there are a couple of small farmers who live near the foot of the mountain, have no children, and grow melons for a living. When ripe melons were often stolen, he spied on a girl about nine or ten years old, picking melons and playing in the moonlight. The young man approached and asked, but she said she was the one who picked the melon and that she had no relatives left. Loving the little girl, he took her home to raise, care for, and love her like his own child.
One day, when it rained, the girls took flowers, picked leaves, made them into fake rocks to play, and were scolded by the old man. Regretting that she had upset her adoptive parents, at that moment a strange male song came and she entered. Following the flood water, the logs drifted out to sea to a far distance and washed ashore. People saw the fragrant wood, thought it was strange, and invited each other to take it back, but it was heavy and could not be carried.
At that time, the Crown Prince heard the news and immediately came to see it. Unexpectedly, he picked it up gently. He ordered the male song to be brought back to the palace and looked at it often. At this time, the Crown Prince had reached the age of choosing a wife but had not yet chosen anyone. Then under the moonlight, from the male log a young woman appeared and walked around, a fragrant scent emitted around her, but when the Crown Prince came closer, it disappeared. One night, the Crown Prince met a girl. She called herself Thien YA Na and told the Prince about her background. He fell in love with her and asked her father to marry her. The king had the hexagrams told, and the hexagrams were good, so they got married. They lived together very happily with their two children, Princess Quy and Prince Tri. But one day, she missed her homeland, so she and her two children entered Khuc Ky Nam, followed the sea to Cu Huan gate and found their old village.
Returning to the melon garden, her adoptive parents had passed away and the garden was deserted, so she built a shrine to worship her grandparents and cleared the fields. At that time, the villagers were still simple and did not know how to make a living or avoid trouble, so she taught them how to grow rice, grow mulberries, raise silkworms, weave cloth, set up rituals... From then on, the fields were lush and life was prosperous. People become more prosperous every day. Then one day, she and her two children went to Cu Lao hill to ride a crane and fly to the sky. From then on, she appeared to save the people.
People commemorated her merits, so they built a statue to erect a worship tower on Cu Lao hill and organized the Via Ba festival every year on the 23rd day of the third lunar month.
The architecture of Ponagar Tower is extremely unique
Overall, Thap Ba is an architectural complex located on top of a hill with a river on one side, overlooking the center of Nha Trang city. Looking in from the gate are the ancient brick towers of Mandapa architecture. To go up to the area with 4 main towers, visitors need to go through a path with many stairs.
04 main towers include: Northwest Tower, Northeast Tower, South Tower and Southwest Tower. Each tower has its own, very unique architecture and each tower worships a deity.
The Ponagar Tower campus is shaded by many old trees and greenery
Cham dance performance
Coming to visit, in addition to admiring the beauty of the ancient architectural work, visitors also have the opportunity to watch a Cham dance performance with traditional costumes and musical instruments. The performance location is right between the Northwest Tower and the main tower. Cham dance performances usually take place at 10am by Cham artisans.
Guests coming here are also provided with costumes for worship by the management unit. This is extremely important because many tourists traveling in a free fashion style will not miss the opportunity to enter the towers to burn incense and pray.
Coming to Thap Ba, everyone can feel the pure fresh air of Ponagar Thap Ba. On one side is Nha Trang's Cai River, located in a high position and covered with many ancient trees and other green trees. That brings an experience that is both gentle and solemn in a sacred place.
Experience traveling to Ponagar Tower.
To get to Thap Ba, from Nha Trang city center, follow Tran Phu bridge. When you cross the bridge, turn left and you will see a traffic sign pointing the way to Thap Ba. Go to a place where there is parking for cars and motorbikes. Currently, Bong bridge is under construction, so until August 2023, both ends of Tran Phu bridge are prone to traffic jams, so you can avoid going during rush hours. To make the trip more unique, you Rent an electric car in Nha Trang Go to Thap Ba to visit.
On the opposite side of the main tourist destination is the street of the same name: Thap Ba Street is famous for many delicious restaurants, this is also considered a culinary street that not only tourists but also local people often visit. Come here often to eat.
See more: Taxi Nha Trang
Ponagar Tower ticket price
At present (December 2023), Ponagar Tower ticket price is collected according to regulations of Khanh Hoa province at 10,000 VND, equal to the Hon Chong ticket price. The price will be increased to 30,000 VND from January 1, 2023. Free tickets in certain cases according to regulations. It can be said that the price to visit Ponagar Tower is very reasonable and you don't need to think about anything!
Ponagar Tower opening hours
Thap Ba is open to welcome guests from 08:00 to 16:00 every day. If you do go Nha Trang island tour You can still visit Thap Ba in half a day. As mentioned above, Thap Ba is one of 4 City Tour tourist destinations, so people will usually go in one day to all of these destinations.
If you have any thoughts about Ponagar Tower, please let everyone know by leaving a comment below.
Some frequently asked questions about place names
This is a national historical site dating back to the 8th century
30,000 VND/person. Free for certain policy subjects as prescribed
From 08:00 to 17:00 daily