The theme letter for our travel pics this week is Y – for You should see the view!
For Wednesday, we are at My Son, near Hoi An in central Vietnam.
My Son was built by the Cham people, who ruled Central Vietnam from about 200AD to 1700AD – the area was finally annexed by the Vietnamese in the 19th Century as the Nguyen dynasty reached power.
Influenced by Hinduism, the Champa built temple complexes in Central Vietnam – including these at My Son, which is now a World Heritage site.
The temples are largely dedicated to the worship of Shiva, the Destroyer (known locally as Bhadresvara)
There were, at one time, as many as 70 temples and other buildings … but after the fall of the Champa, the jungle began to reclaim the structures.
By the 1960’s the Viet Cong were used My Son as a base – prompting bombing by the US.
In a single week, the story goes, the majority of the buildings were destroyed by carpet-bombing – the indiscriminate laying down of high explosives designed to shatter the support structure of insurgents.,
The Vietnamese version is that the carpet-bombing was a crime against history and humanity. The US version is that the temples were already largely destroyed by the ravages of time – and the VC were using the ruins to continue their destabilisation of the legitimately elected government so they had to be moved out.
But whoever you blame (and there’s plenty to go around) it’s still a fascinating place to visit. Most tourists do so on a half-day tour by bus.