India will send experts and give a five-year subsidy of about US$2.5 million for renovation of the towers in the My Son sanctuary in the central Quang Nam province.
According to Dinh Hai, director of the Quang Nam Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, these details were included in a memorandum on preservation and renovation, signed by the leaders of the two countries last year.
In the last 12 years visitors to the My Son Sanctuary have increased tenfold, adding a tremendous strain from the increased tourist numbers. The pressure is compounded by the fact that most tourists only visit the site in the morning, concentrating the rate of deterioration. I visited the My Son Sanctuary last year, and you can read about it here.
On the way to My Son from Da Nang is the town of Tra Kieu, known during Champa times as Simhapura (‘Lion City’). It is thought that Simhapura was a political capital for Champa, while My Son was a spiritual capital of sorts. I was searching for the archaeological remains of Simhapura – reportedly the rectangular remains of a stone building or ramparts – but was unsuccessful. Nobody seemed to know where it was. But I did stumble upon this: