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Author: Laxman Burdak IFS (R)
The territory of Champa circa 1000–1100, depicted in green, lay along the coast of present-day southern Vietnam. To the north (in yellow) lay Đại Việt; to the west (in blue), Angkor

Panduranga (पांडुरंग) was one of five principalities that consisted of the historical Champa in Vietnam. Its present name is Phan Rang–Tháp Chàm.



Panduranga was located in the area of present-day Phan Rang in Ninh Thuận Province. Panduranga was the last of the Cham territories to be annexed by the Vietnamese. Panduranga is first mentioned in an AD 817 inscription at Po Nagar.[1]


Phan Rang–Tháp Chàm, also called Panduranga (a Sanskrit word of Hindu origin), is a new city in Vietnam and the capital of Ninh Thuận Province.

The ancient Panduranga, the capital of the southernmost of city-states of Hindu-Buddhist Champa was located where Phan Rang is now. The town of Phan Rang was established in 1917 by edict of Emperor Khải Định and remained the provincial capital of Ninh Thuận Province until 1976, when the province merged with Bình Thuận Province to form Thuận Hải Province. The town was divided into Phan Rang in the east, which became part of Ninh Hải District and Tháp Chàm in the west, which became part of An Son district. The two were again combined in 1992 to become Phan Rang–Tháp Chàm, the capital of Ninh Thuận Province, achieving city status in 2007.

Cham culture

Tháp Chàm and Pham Rang district has become a centre for the maintenance of Cham culture. Much of the district is occupied by Cham people where they have rice paddies, orchards of grapes and peaches, flocks of goats and Brahman cattle. Their towers (the 'Thap') are beautiful memorials to their kings and queens. There are several Cham sites with dilapidated towers along the central coast of Vietnam and major sites in Mỹ Sơn and Nha Trang.

However, there are two sites in the Phan Rang–Tháp Chàm being maintained and culturally active. Two kilometers west of the Tháp Chàm Railway Station, there is excellent hilltop Cham tower complex dedicated to the king Po Klong Garai, the last reigning king; his likeness is depicted on a lingam in the sanctuary of the central tower. A second tower for the king Po Re Do is located about 20 km south west of Tháp Chàm, via Phu Quy to Phouc Hou and the village Hau Sanh; this tower is undergoing extensive renovation (July 2012).

The towers are currently used for the very colorful Cham festivals, particularly "Kate" in October (Oct 15 in 2012) when they still sacrifice a bullock and other food offerings. Other ceremonies for Ramadan, a Rain Festival (as required), weddings and other celebrations are also held. Apart from the incorporation of Islam into their cultural and religious practice, another point of cultural difference is that their heredity line is maternal. The animist foundation of Cham culture, with fire motif on the towers, rustic traditions and very colorful ceremonial dress makes the Cham culture an ideal tourist resource for Vietnam, as yet poorly developed.

Architecturally, the towers are intricately built in small red bricks, almost dry stone construction with very fine mortar lines. The towers are topped by caly like minarets, arches are rimmed by special bricks fired with tongue like extensions on the extremities to represent flames; it is very intricate brick work requiring sophisticated engineering to deal with the overhang.

Associated with the Po Klong Garai complex there is a cultural centre, more functionally built with concrete, bricks, mortar and render, but at least with some of the line of the Cham architecture and housing a display of cultural and handi-works, and excellent photographs and paintings by Cham artists.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[2] ने लेख किया है ...Panduranga (पांडुरंग) (AS, p.538), Annam (अनाम), Kambodia (कम्बोडिया) - प्राचीन भारतीय उपनिवेश चम्पा का दक्षिणी भाग. 5 वीं शती ई. में प्रारंभ में यहाँ चम्पा के राजा धर्ममहाराज श्री भद्रवर्मन का आधिपत्य था. Virapura (वीरपुर) या Rajpura (राजपुर) में यहाँ की राजधानी थी.


  1. Higham, C., 2014, Early Mainland Southeast Asia, Bangkok: River Books Co., Ltd., ISBN 9786167339443,p:318
  2. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.538