Nhan tower, orcalled Kohmengtower or Champa tower in Ede and Giarai language, wasbuilt in the late11th and early 12th centuries,which was theplace of worship of the divine god Yana, the typical architectural work of the oldCham people. The tower represents the flourishing civilization inSoutheast Asia region, the intersection ofthe two majorIndian and Dai Viet cultures into Champa architectural culture.
Over 10 centuries and the wars’ devastatoig, Nhan Tower has undergone tworenovations in 1960 and 1994. In general, the shape, lines and colors of thetower remain the same before, only the materials for repairing toweris different.
"The Magic Eye of the Land"
Nhan Tower was built on the eastern slope of Nhan mountain in the heart of Tuy Hoa city. Nhan mountain is 64m high over the sea surface, is a rare mountainof coastal riverside cities in the South Central region. The floor of the toweris at an altitude of about 56m, the main face of the tower is facing to theeast, the direction of vitality, the remaining two sides and back are closed,the tower leaning against the ridge with a stable location.
To the east of Nhan tower is Da Dien estuary, the East Sea is inlaid with silver,waves and sea breezes spilling on. Looking to the south, the Chua river looks like adreamy stream, green bamboo groves with white flocks fluttering in the heart ofthe city; Ngoc Lang famous flower village with thefeatures of "warmin winter, cool in summer". Further on the other side of Da Rang river isthe urban area on the south bank and dim Da Bia mountain. Looking to thenorth, Tuy Hoa city is like a multicolored picture, an immense green field, a solid Chop Chai mountain like a giant "Turtle"crawling toward Da Dien estuary.
When coming to or passing Tuy Hoa city by road or railway, about from5kmto 10 km away, NhanTower is in front of your eyes, when closer and closer, the shape, the lines of the towerare slender then sharp, the tower like the flower of hills and mountains, like a torch illuminatingin the clear blue sky.
Perfect combination between construction and sculpture engineering
Nhan Tower has 3 parts: The base of the tower, its body andits roof like a traditional Vietnamese house. The tower’s base and body are square, representing the land, the total height of all threesections is about 24m. The base of the tower is larger than the body, about 3.3meters high. The rows of bricks above are built backwards in comparison withthe rows below, steadily shrinking and sticking to the tower’s body. The base of the tower is alarge solid block firmly attached to the ground upholding the body and roof of the tower.
The body of the tower is square, each side is 10.5m, about9.3m high, the wall is 3m thick. The wall is built vertically, with pillars at 4 corners, creatingconvex ledges on both sides and back. Shapes, lines, decorative patterns on theoutside have a golden ratio, making the tower body even higher. The body of thetower is the connection between the base and the roof of the tower, expressingthe thought that Heaven - Earth - Human is a unified body, heaven protects and earth supportsto people. The carvingsand ledges on the body of the tower are very rich, not only expressing theaspirations and ambitions of the people but also reflecting the world of thegods.
The roof of the tower has 4 layers, very strange blockshapes, the roof height is about 8.5m. The bottom layer with 4 large cylindersin 4 corners looks as four lotus buds from far and the ledges stick out of the towerbody like a rooftop. The second and third layers also have four lotus buds, growingsmaller and tapering up. The top layer is a large monolithic square-base stone with a curved top, graduallycurved in 4 directions, exquisitely trimmed, which is a symbol of linga. Lingais a male being, symbolizing Shiva, one of the three supreme deities ofHinduism. Looking away from the roof is shaped like a forest flower, like thefire of the winter night, symbolizing the divine, enlightenment and awakeningof people in the spiritual life. The roof is very strange convex and concave shape.
Expressing the wish
In addition to the aesthetic function, the project alsovividly expresses the desire for a good life towards goodness, rise-up, contributing to the enrichment ofVietnamese culture. Through archeology and scientific workshops, the process ofcreating the tower is predictively done via many steps. The first was to prepare a binder, a glue refinedfrom a plant, possibly from the bark and leaves of an otter tree. Next was casting bricks according to apredetermined mold, firing for the first time. The clay was kneaded, carefully tempered, with a prescribed sand ratio, maintained,molded and baked to medium-ripe bricks, while porosity was easy for machining and engraving.Then fine-tuning and arranging bricks according to the tower model linked byadhesive glue. Where bricks were stacked, combined to be carved, honed until it completed theentire block. The next step was to roast the tower the second time. Burning with firewood,straw, rice husk from top to bottom, both inside and outside, baking time was quite long because ofthe thick wall until thebricks became dark red from the inside to outside, from top to bottom and then honing to finish the tower block. However, it is only a scientific speculation,the process of creating Nhan Tower has not been solved.
Since the reestablishment of the province in 1989, Phu Yen provincehas invested quite a lotin the population of Nhan Mountain Park, including: Restoring Nhantower; building martyrs monument in Nhan Mountain; planting many rarespecies of trees and paths up and down the mountain; buildingcultural house and widening Dien Hong park; constructing Bach Dang road alongChua river’s bank; making clearance for people’s houses around the Nhanmountain’s foot and rebuilding ancient pagodas and temples in the Nhanmountain’s foot…
Source: Phu YenNewspaper
Translated by TRINHTHUY