Po Nagar Temple, Nha Trang


One of the many things we want to do on our trip through Southeast Asia is to visit some of the ancient temples in every country we embark upon. The Po Nagar Temple was our first. The temple itself is a Cham temple built sometime in eighth century BCE and is dedicated to Yan Po Nagar, the goddess of the country, who is associated with the Hindu goddesses Bhagavati and Mahishasuramardini (the slayer of the buffalo demon - there's a depiction of her on the pediment above the temple's entrance holding a hatchet and a lotus standing atop a buffalo). Though we weren't properly dressed at first to enter the temple, staff at the temple site provides robes to visitors who wish to enter to make offerings and recieve blessings. This allowed us to get a quick glance inside (we didn't want to be obtrusive or disrespectful to worshippers or the sacredness of such a beloved ancient site) however, just without the cameras.

Quick Note: Though Po Nagar is a tourist site and funds from the tourists keep the temple in repair it is also a functioning temple. We noticed many tourists being disrespectful of this fact. One example I saw many times over was a tourist having one of their travel companions take their picture in front of a monument or statue of a god/goddess mimicking and posing as the said statue. These of course were primarily Western tourists. I kept thinking, "How would these people feel if a tourist visited one of their country's ancient cathedrals or monasteries, put their legs together and arms spread out in front of a crucifix and have their friends snap photos of them for Facebook?" Not so nice when that shoe's on the other foot is it?

#Vietnam