India helps translate ancient inscriptions in My Son Sanctuary
Update: Apr 04, 2018
The Sanskrit inscriptions on steles at the UNESCO world heritage My Son Sanctuary in central Quang Nam province will be translated into Vietnamese and English as part of a joint project between Viet Nam and India.  

UNESCO world heritage My Son Sanctuary in central Quang Nam province

Under the project, which started on April 3, specialists from India will study the steles and help Vietnam translate the epitaphs from Sanskrit, the ancient liturgical language of Hinduism, to Vietnamese and English. 

The move aims to aid the preservation of the sanctuary and shed light on its cultural, historical, religious and architectural values hidden in the towers there for thousands years.

The complex has Sanskrit epitaphs engraved on 31 steles made of brick and stone, the main materials used in building My Son Sanctuary, said Nguyen Cong Khiet, deputy head of the sanctuary’s management committee.

The biggest challenge the translators face is that many of the steles were broken into pieces while some of these pieces have been lost, therefore ​it will take a lot of time and effort, Khiet noted.

In addition to this project, the Government of India has provided about 2.2 million USD in financial support to Quang Nam to help the province restore and preserve the UNESCO World Heritage Site between 2016 and 2021.

During the excavation at the site in 2017, Vietnamese and Indian experts found a number of ancient objects buried underground, including tops of towers with sophisticated decoration, different types of building materials and lion-headed figurines. They also discovered traces of a pathway leading to the heart of the complex which was presumably reserved for members of royal families and religious dignitaries during holy rituals.

Once the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom, My Son Sanctuary is located in a hilly landscape in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, about 70 km southwest of central Da Nang city and 40 km from Hoi An city.

It comprises eight groups of 71 monuments built throughout the 7th to 13th centuries. 

The first construction of My Son dated back to the 4th century under the reign of Bhadravarman for the worship of God Shiva-Bhadresvara. But later on, the temple was destroyed. 

At the beginning of the 7th century, King Sambhuvarman had it rebuilt and rebaptised Sambhu-Bhadresvara.

Each new monarch came to My Son after his accession to the throne for the ceremony of purification and to present offerings and erect new monuments, which explains why My Son is the only place where Cham art flourished without interruption from the 7th to 13th century.