The ancient mystery of underground Cham tower in Thua Thien Hue province (Vietnam)


( Thap Phu Dien - Phu Dien Tower ( or Cham Tower) is a unique historical and cultural relic that was discovered by archaeologist in 2001 (because it was previously covered by sand), in the territory of Phu Dien commune, Phu Vang district, Thua Thien Hue province. Phu Dien tower has a terracotta monolithic structure, has no roof and stand alone, different from other Cham tower monuments.


According to People’s Deputies Online, State Records And Archives Management Department Of Vietnam: Archaeological excavation results show that the tower has a rectangular shape facing East-West. The ground floor of the bottom layer of the tower is 8.22m long, 7.12m wide, the tower gets smaller and smaller from bottom to top, with different parts including the foundation, the foot of tower, the body and the roof. The entire remaining tower height is from 3.1 - 3.26m, due to the tower’s tilting and subsidence. The base of the tower has an angled rectangular with 0.29m high, including 4 layers of bricks built closely to create a solid foundation for the body of tower.

The base of tower is 1.25m high, including the body and false doors with many different decorative layers. The body of tower is 1.36m high. The bed of the tower is rectangular in the East-West (3.9m long and 3.3m wide). In the middle, there is an altar with 0.73m high, on the pedestal is the Yoni made of sandstone. About 5 meters in front of the main door of the tower is an altar has the shape of square block built by grinding and folded snugly brick with 1.4m high and 1.38m long. In the middle of pedestal is a round hole with a diameter of 0.19m, which researchers believe there was a worshiping statue placed before.

During the excavation process, people also found some sacrifices such as ceramic boxes, brass candlesticks, ect.  The results of radiocarbon dating show that the tower was built at the beginning of the 8th century, belonging to one of the oldest Cham towers in Vietnam. Researchers believe that this Cham tower is a blend of the ancient architectural style of My Son E1 and the architectural style of Hoa Lai tower. This was the land belonging to Champa and became Dai Viet after Champa King Che Man offered Chau O and Chau Ri as bridal token to propose to Princess Huyen Tran.

The Cham tower is buried  5-7 meters deep in the sand, 3-4 meters below the current sea level and only 120 meters far from the sea edge. Therefore, the tower is reinforced around very firmly with concrete to prevent from quicksand. In addition, in order to prevent the deterioration of the building by direct sunlight when leaving the tower exposed, Cham tower is also protected by thick glass, making it difficult for visitors to take photos and study more about the tower. However, you can still take photos from above and close-up when choosing the right angle.
Beside Cham Tower is Phu Dien beach in green, always attracting a lot of tourists to visit and relax.. With a wide sandy beach, the Phu Dien beach is currently allowed to build a lot of huts to ensure that it will not overloaded with tourists in the peak season like this summer.

Walking  on the white sandy road with rows of poplar trees are sighing in the wind, it is easy to see the flock of chickens, adorable dogs and feel the sea’s atmosphere so close, cozy, both familiar and strange,ect.
Phu Dien beach is about 7 kilometers long. The  bathing area is quite wide and safe because the water is not deep, so it is suitable for family trips or group of friends to travel.


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