Photographer's Note


heading home

During the Vietnam War, Phan Rang has been the air base for Australian Air Forces. The airport has a 10,000 ft runway at Longitude 108° 57' 0" East and Latitude 11° 37' 0" North. After the war, the area returns to its normal life. Phan Rang has highest livestock especially in sheep husbandry in Vietnam as shown in this photo.

Originally "Panduranga" from the Cham language, Phan Rang and its sister city of Thap Cham are located midway between Nha Trang and Phan Thiet, or 350km NorthEast of Ho Chi Minh City. The main attraction is a group of Cham towers called Po Klong Garai. The towers were originally built as Hindu temples in the 13th century. They are quite well preserved and offer a good insight into the construction techniques used by the Cham. The site contains several statues and carvings of Hindu gods including Shiva. The temples are perched on a hillside just to the west of Phan Rang, situated on the road from Phan Rang to Dalat.

There are three surviving structures enclosed by a rectangular perimeter wall: the main tower (kalan), a small gate tower to the east, and one of the smaller buildings of the type that was thought to be used to prepare offerings or store religious articles. They are in relatively good condition, particularly the main tower, whose corner-towers and flame-decorations are either intact or restored. There once was a tower housing a stele in the southwest corner, but that has disappeared.

The Chams continue to pay their respects to these towers, and a mustachioed linga representing Po Klong Garai is still seated in the center of the main temple, awaiting offerings. The Chams hold a major ceremony at this temple as a part of their Kate festival each year, which usually falls in early October.

Remarks: I am currently out of town “looking for” pictures for 2006 Calendar. Sorry that I have no time to write the note.
This note is contributed by a friend of mine who is interested in this topic.


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Additional Photos by Nhiem Hoang (hoangthenhiem) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 13 W: 0 N: 488] (2531)
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