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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

11th century hindu Shiva temple Po Klaung Garai near Phan Rang(Vietnam)

The profile of the 11th century hindu Shiva temple Po Klaung Garai near Phan Rang(Vietnam) includes all the buildings typical of a Cham temple. From left to right one can see the kalan, the attached mandapa, the saddle- shaped kosagruha, and the gopura.
It was built by legendary Cham king Po klaung garai in 1050CE and later renovated by Maharaj Jaya Simhavarman. The temple of Po Klaung Garai belongs to what is known as the Thap Mam Style of Cham art and architecture. It consists of three brick towers: a main tower with three stories, a smaller gate tower, and an elongated tower with a saddle- like roof. The group of buildings is well preserved, and "is distinguished by the purity of its outlines and the austerity of its decor."
Over the front door of the main tower is a sculpture of the god Siva that is regarded as one of the masterpieces of the Thap Mam Style. The remaining images are less impressive, revealing "an art in terminal decline, due to its stiffness and arid workmanship." The tower with the saddle-like roof is said to be dedicated to the God of Flame, Thang Chuh Yang Pui.
The primary religious image in the temple is a mukhalinga of the 16th or 17th century. A mukhalinga is a linga with a human face. In general, the linga is the emblem of the Hindu god Siva, but the Cham say that this one is a statue of King Po Klaung Garai. The temple is still the site of Cham religious festivals.