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Permission for use of Phan Rang area map courtesy of Jim Henthorn, USAF, 21st SOS
Phan Rang (originally "Panduranga" from the Cham language) and its twin city of Thap Cham mark the site of the Po Klong Garai Towers, constructed at the end of the 13th century by the Cham as Hindu temples. This ancient temple is located on a rocky hill between Thap Cham and Phan Rang Air Base.
The ancient Kingdom of Champa and the Cham civilization offers a startling contrast to many of Vietnams Chinese conventions. The Cham derived their cultural influences from India and were almost exclusively Hindu. The Cham existed from the second to the sixteenth century throughout the central highlands of Vietnam. Although this is a considerable portion of Vietnam, the severity of weather and limited area for agriculture limited the size of the population to about 2.5 million people at its height. The Kingdom of Champa back in the 8th and 12th century stretched all the way from Dong Hoi to Phan Thiet in central Vietnam. Most were didicated to kings and Brahman divinities, including the Shiva God, who was considered the creator, founder and defender of the Champa Kingdom and the Cham royal dynasties.
Much of the above information was obtained from research conducted by J.C. Sharma in his text "Temples of Champa in Vietnam".