Preservation of Dong Duong Buddhist monastery


(QNO) - Dong Duong Buddhist monastery has been on the list of special national heritages of Vietnam.

Sang tower in Dong Duong Buddhist monastery
Sang tower in Dong Duong Buddhist monastery

Dong Duong Buddhist monastery is located in Binh Dinh Bac commune, Thang Binh district, Quang Nam province. As an area of historical, cultural, religious, architectural and sculptural values, Dong Duong Buddhist monastery needs preserving.

Special values

This Buddhist monastery was built in 875 by King Indravarman II of the ancient Kingdom of Champa. In the area of the monastery, there was a temple where Buddha Laskmindra Lookesvara Svabhayada was worshipped to protect the kingdom. 

The statue of a Buddha in Dong Duong
The statue of a Buddha in Dong Duong

According to some researchers, Dong Duong village used to be the capital of the ancient Champa Kingdom named Indrapura. However, it was destroyed by wars. Some vestiges found here are a wall piece of a tower called Sang tower, substructures of the buildings and some ornament.

In 1901, 229 items were found in Dong Duong Buddhist monastery by Finol- a French expert. Among these items was a 108-cm-high bronze Buddha statue. It is of Indian sculpture. A year later, the vestige of the main building and some precious sculptures in Dong Duong were excavated by Parmentier.

According to Parmentier, all the main temple and the towers are put on a west-east line of 1,300m. The main temple is in an area of 326mx155m, surrounded by a brick wall. It consists of 3 buildings separated by brick walls. Some miniature towers, elephant head models and a sandstone altar were found here.

In 1978, a goddess statue was found in Dong Duong by the locals. It is 114cm high and believed to be Buddha Laskmindra – Lokesvara, who was worshipped in the main temple.

In June 1996, another survey carried in Dong Duong showed that there were few vestiges of civilians here.


A corner of Dong Duong Buddhist monastery
A corner of Dong Duong Buddhist monastery

It is necessary to preserve and restore Dong Duong Buddhist monastery but we should respect its history. Before the restoration is carried out, all the structures and architectural works should be rearranged as it used to be. Moreover, the work requires good archaeologists who know well about this heritage. It will be a risk if everything for the restoration of Dong Duong Buddhist monastery is not well-prepared.

Moreover, Dong Duong Buddhist monastery is a special national heritage. It is significant to raise the locals’ awareness of its values and their responsibilities for the heritage preservation. At the same time, socialization in heritage preservation and restoration is also paid more attention.

We should enlist Asian Buddhist countries and international organizations such as UNESCO, SPAFA, ICOMOS and ICROM to help research and restore the Buddhist monastery. In addition, the Government of Vietnam and Quang Nam authorities should give some certain supports, facilitating the preservation and restoration here.