Helicopter tours will soon be available for tourists to enjoy an aerial view of the World Cultural Heritage of My Son Sanctuary in the central province of Quang Nam, a local official said.
Preparations for the airborne services, launched by the Vietnam Travel Mart Company, have been completed outside the Khe The spring in the heritage’s complex, said Phan Ho, Head of the management board of the My Son tourism and heritage site.
Service airplanes departing from the central city of Da Nang will fly around the area to give tourists a look at the mystery and unique architecture of Cham temples lying in the middle of the forest.
Helicopter tours of My Son Sanctuary, first launched in April this year, have contributed to drawing vacationers to the site.
In 2015, the site expects to welcome more than 250,000 domestic and foreign tourists, generating more than 24 billion VND (1.1 million USD).
Once the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom, My Son Sanctuary is located in a hilly landscape in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, about 70 km southwest of Da Nang city and 40 km from Hoi An city.
It comprises eight groups of 71 monument built throughout the 7th -13th centuries.
The first construction of My Son dated back to the 4 th century under the reign of Bhadravarman for the worship of God Shiva-Bhadresvara. But later on, the temple was destroyed.
At the beginning of the 7th century, King Sambhuvarman had it rebuilt and rebaptised Sambhu-Bhadresvara. Each new monarch came to My Son after his accession to the throne for the ceremony of purification and to present offerings and erect new monuments, which explains why My Son is the only place where Cham art flourished without interruption from the 7th to 13th century.
The temples in My Son were built into groups that basically followed the same model. Each group was comprised of a main sanctuary (Kalan), surrounded by towers and auxiliary monuments. The Kalan, which is a symbol of Meru Mountain (centre of the universe, where the gods live), is dedicated to Shiva. The small temples are devoted to the spirits of the eight compass points. In the towers, topped with tiled, covered roofs, were stocked to the offerings and sacred objects of the pilgrims. Cham temples do not have windows, so they are very dark inside. Windows are found only in the towers.
Extensive research and restoration work to preserve the Cham architectural heritage have been carrying out since it became a world heritage site since 1999.