Thap Banh It: 900-Year-Old Towers

Located in Vietnam, a relic from the bygone Champa Kingdom, Thap Banh It Towers are some of the most impressive sites in the country. The towers have a history of nearly a millennium and represent the architectural qualities of a now nigh-extinct society. The Cham kingdom controlled Vietnam until the late 15th century. Although very few descendants exist today, the architectural and cultural heritage that the kingdom left in Vietnam is undeniable. At the peak of their power, the Cham controlled the Silk Road and most of the trade in Asia. Their power allowed them to hone their craft in peace and make some durable structures that survive to this day.

Thap Banh It

Thap Banh It Towers are built upon a beautiful hill that overlooks the surrounding area. It is possible to deduce from the carvings and statues near the towers that the Cham king built this to worship and pray to the deities in Hinduist beliefs. During the excavations in the French period, the archeologists found many small dancing sculptures of Siva, a statue of Ganesa, a statue of goddess Uma, and another bronze statue of Brahma.

Thap Banh It tower

Thap Banh It Towers are some of the richest archeological sites in Vietnam. When The French colonizers unearthed relics from the area, they took them to France where they still exhibit them in The Guimet Museum. The museum is home to nearly 5000 Vietnamese exhibits.

Thap Banh It towers

There are four Thap Banh It Towers, one main one, and three accompanying ones. The main temple is the tallest with a height of 20 meters. However, all of the towers have the same level of intricate workmanship and design. The Cham commonly used red bricks to build temples and carved figures, some of which are dancing, into the temple walls. Excavations also found that there were at least 2 other towers that were completely destroyed at some point in the past.

Thap Banh It towers profile
Thap Banh It and the trees
Thap Banh It single tower
Thap Banh It tower entrance
Thap Banh It tower close up
cham temple from above
cham temple staircase
cham temple from above
cham tower and its color