Chien Dan

South-Central Vietnam

The elegant Cham towers at Chien Dan are located just outside the town of Tam Ky on a wide open field; the only other building nearby is a small museum. Dating from the 11th or 12th century, each kalan faces east. Many of the decorative friezes remain on the outside walls. This rarely visited site is on the right as you approach Tam Ky, 47km south of Hoi An.

The middle tower was dedicated to Shiva; at the front left-hand edge of its base there are carvings of dancing girls and a fight scene. Look for the grinning faces high up between this and the left tower (honouring Brahma) and the two elephants at the rear. The right-hand tower is dedicated to Vishnu.

Although the towers escaped the bombing that ravaged My Son, bullet holes from the American War are evident.

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