Overview Of The Cham Sculpture Museum
The Cham Sculpture Museum is considered to be an important cultural and historical site and it is a must-see destination for visitors interested in the art and culture of the Champa Kingdom.

The museum currently houses over 300 sculptures and other artifacts from the Champa Kingdom, including sandstone and terracotta statues, lingas, and inscribed steles. These sculptures are considered to be some of the most important examples of Cham art and culture, and they are displayed in chronological order to give visitors an understanding of the development of the Champa Kingdom.

The museum also features a collection of artifacts from the Champa Kingdom such as pottery, ceramics, and jewelry. The museum’s collection is considered to be one of the most important and comprehensive collections of Cham art and culture in the world.

Establishmetn Of The Cham Sculpture Museum
The Cham Sculpture Museum, located in Danang, Vietnam, is a museum dedicated to the art and culture of the Champa Kingdom. The Champa Kingdom was a powerful empire that existed in what is now Central and Southern Vietnam from the 2nd to the 17th century. The kingdom was known for its sophisticated culture, advanced architecture, and intricate sculptures, which were primarily made from sandstone and terracotta.

The museum was founded in 1915 by the French archaeologist, Henri Parmentier, during the French colonial period in Vietnam. He built the museum to house the many Cham sculptures that he had discovered in the region. The museum was originally located in the city of Quang Nam, but it was moved to its current location in Danang in 1919.

Cham Art Periods Feature At The Cham Sculpture Museum
The Cham art is the art of the Cham people, an ethnic group that once inhabited the central and southern coastal regions of present-day Vietnam and Cambodia. The Cham art can be divided into several distinct periods:

The Hindu period (4th to 8th century): This period is characterized by the strong influence of Hinduism on Cham art and architecture, with many sculptures and inscriptions depicting Hindu deities and myths.
The Buddhist period (8th to 15th century): This period saw the increasing influence of Buddhism on Cham art, with many sculptures and inscriptions depicting Buddhist figures and themes.
The Islamic period (15th century onwards): The Cham people gradually converted to Islam, and their art and architecture reflected this change.
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It’s important to note that these periods are not always clearly defined, and there may be overlap between them. Additionally, the periods of Cham art may vary slightly depending on the specific region or kingdom in which they were created.

Exhibitions In The Cham Sculpture Museum
Tra Kieu Gallery
The first gallery displays artifacts from Tra Kieu, the capital of the Champa kingdom from the 2nd to early 14th century. Known as Simhapura or “City of Lion” by the Cham people, the majority of the exhibits date back to the 10th and 11th century and were discovered by French archaeologists during excavations in 1927 and 1928. Visitors can see the Tra Kieu Pedestal, Nandin holy cow, Vishnu god sculpture, “Tra Kieu fairy dancers”, and the Linga-Yoni, among other important pieces.

My Son Gallery
Artefacts collected from My Son, 30 km west of Tra Kieu. My Son was the religious sanctuary of Champa kingdom from 4th to 13th centuries. The first excavations were made in 1903 and 1904. Most significant:

The pedestal in My Son E1 temple
The bas relief depicting Brahma at birth from Vishnu’s navel
The bas relief depicting the cosmic dance of Shiva
Dong Duong Gallery
Dong Duong was a Buddhist sanctuary built in the 9th century, known for its grand architecture, which was the grandest in Southeast Asia. Due to conflicts between the Viet and Cham kingdoms, the sanctuary was destroyed and no tower remains today. In Autumn 1902, French archaeologists excavated the site and discovered many artifacts. The most notable finds include the central pedestal, where a large Buddha statue sits, and the Tara goddess statue.

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Thap Mam Gallery
Thap Mam is located within the Vijaya citadel, where the Champa emperors held their seat of power after the 14th century. The site is a ruined temple, which was excavated by French archaeologists in 1934 and is believed to date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. The statue of “Gajasimha” is considered a national treasure.

Other Galleries
The northernmost regions of the former Champa kingdom from present day Quang Binh to Hue, located near the border with the Viet-led kingdom, are home to many vestiges of fortresses, trading ports, temples, walls, and standing towers. The sculptures on display in this gallery date back to the 9th and 10th centuries, including a statue of a half-naked Bodhisattva holding two penises in her hands (representing growth).
Danang Gallery focuses on sculptures found before and after 1975, when the Vietnam War ended, and collected from different parts of the city, including those unearthed from two Hindu temples between 2012 and 2014, providing insight into the rich history of Da Nang.
Quang Nam province is home to many important Champa remains, including the My Son sanctuary, Tra Kieu capital, and Dong Duong Buddhist monastery, each with their own dedicated galleries. The space also aims to introduce sculptures from lesser-known sites, such as the Tower of Chien Dan, Khuong My, and Bang An. Visitors are encouraged to read the guide on Hoi An Cham Temples for more information.
Quang Ngai province, located between the concentrations of Cham remains in Quang Nam and Binh Dinh, has many artifacts and sculptures found around it, but no standing temples. In 1904, a 11th-century temple was discovered by the French. In a nearby area, Vietnamese archaeologists recently unearthed the largest Linga-Yoni ever found in the country.
Other notable sculptures from the Thap Mam site and of similar style are also exhibited in the Binh Dinh gallery. The capital of the Champa kingdom from the 11th to 15th century, the sculptures date back to the 12th century and later. The Kon Tum collection, crafted between the 14th and 15th centuries, is also displayed in the same space.
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Audio Guide In The Cham Sculpture Museum
Visitors can book a tour guide or use an audio guide while visiting the museum. The tour guides are well-trained, knowledgeable, and available in Vietnamese, English, and French. Groups of at least 5 people are given priority, and it’s recommended that a booking be made before 10 a.m and 4 p.m to ensure ample time to enjoy the exhibits.

The audio guide is more flexible and ideal for small groups, families, and solo travelers. It’s free to use and can be accessed by connecting to the museum’s wifi or personal device, visiting chamaudio.com, and selecting a preferred language. By scanning the QR code on each sculpture, visitors can gain deeper understanding of the secrets behind each exhibit.

Information Of The Cham Sculpture Museum
Cham Sculpture Museum in Da Nang opens from 7:30 to 11 a.m and 1 to 5 p.m daily and on public holidays. Its entrance fee is 60,000 VND for adults above 16 years old. The museum closes on Monday.