This architectural element is a ‘makara’, the Hindu mythical sea creature with the body of a crocodile and trunk of an elephant. It issues forth a heavenly ‘apsara’ with hands in ‘anjali mudra’ (prayer position) holding a lotus bud offering. Champa was one of the earliest regions in Southeast Asia to adapt Indian cultural influences. Hindu temples were built as early as the late 4th century. Brick temples dedicated to royal ancestors, stone sculptures and precious metal images and jewellery, are amongst the important material legacy of Champa. Stylistic similarities with Indian, Chinese and regional traditions are often seen, reflecting the important role that Champa played in trade and other exchanges that took place with these cultures.