Po Klong Garai Temple is the most majestic and beautiful Cham tower cluster remaining in Vietnam. The temple is located in Ninh Thuan, one of the important centers of the Champa kingdom.
On Trau Hill of Do Vinh ward, about 9km northwest of Phan Rang – Thap Cham city center, there is a cluster of 3 Champa towers Po Klong Garai lying across the sun and wind in Phan Rang Ninh Thuan for 7 centuries.
The temple was built in the late 13th and early 14th century, worshiping the Champa King is Po Klong Garai.
In the past, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan used to belong to the Panduranga province of the Champa kingdom. The Cham culture in Ninh Thuan is clearly shown through writing, costumes, architectural arts, sculpture, pottery, and brocade weaving.
Nowadays, Ninh Thuan has the highest population of Cham people compared to other provinces in Vietnam.
How to get to Po Klong Garai temple
From Phan Rang city, get to the intersection of Phu Ha. Then follow the 21/8 road towards Da Lat, passing the train intersection. Go a little further and you will reach your destination.
Po Klong Garai tower ticket price
The entrance fee for Po Klong Garai is 15 000 VND/ person.
Opening hours: 7 am – 5 pm
The Museum of Cham Ethnic Culture – Phan Rang
Before visiting the temple complex, I recommend visiting the museum first and learn about the Cham culture.
The museum displays a selection of items including tools, costumes, and musical instruments of the Cham people in Ninh Thuan. Here, you can also see the photos of festivals and the daily lives of Cham people.
Po Klong Garai tower cluster consists of 3 main towers including the main tower, the fire tower, and the gate tower.
At the moment we arrive at the gate, we already could see the majestic beauty of the tower laying on the top of the hill. The closer we got, the more impress the architecture appeared in front of us.
This Champa tower cluster consists of three towers, including the main tower, the fire tower, and the gate tower.
The Main Tower
The main tower is about more than 20m high, multi-story design. Around the corners of the tower are designed with stone statues and fire symbols.
This tower has one main door in the East, carved with an image of God Siva. Two stone pillars supporting the tower are engraved with ancient Cham script.
Besides, the tower also has three fake doors facing the other 3 sides.
The Gate Tower
The Gate Tower is about 9m high, carved with meticulous patterns. This place is also the entrance gate to worship and welcome guests of the king in the past.
In the south is the Fire Tower bearing a typical architecture of the traditional Cham Pa people’s houses.
The Tower of Fire is 9.31 meters high, 8.18 meters long, and 5 meters wide, designed according to Brahmanism.
The two roofs of the tower are curved, shaped like a boat, quite similar to the communal roofs of the ethnic people in the Central Highlands.
The Fire Tower is the place of worship for monks, and where they keep clothes and requisites of Champa King.
Po Klong Garai Tower Festival in Ninh Thuan
Here are some important festivals at Po Klong Garai tower relic:
New Year’s Ceremony: the opening ceremony of the Poklong Garai Tower, held in January of the Cham calendar
Rain praying ceremony: held in April of the Champa calendar.
Katê Festival: This is the biggest festival of the year for caregivers held in July of the Champa calendar. During the 3 days of the Katê festival, you can enjoy the fan dances, Siva dances, and many other traditional activities.
Chabun ceremony: this is the festival of Father in Cham beliefs, held in September.