The Saigon people believed that the Mariamman temple was very sacred. Beside many Indians working in Saigon used to pray in this temple, many Vietnamese also came to worship at this temple. Let’s find out more about this place in your South Vietnam group tours.
Saigon has over 300 years of history. This is a land of many people with different nationality to settle in, including the Chinese, Indians, and many other ethnic groups. The culture in Saigon, like other extended cities in the world, such as New York or Shanghai, is open-minded and intertwined, that is not as tight as elsewhere.
Mariamman temple outside
“Indian Lady Pagoda” is the name that people used to call the Hindu temple located at No. 45, Truong Dinh street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. This is considered the top tourist attraction in Saigon.
The temple was built in the early 20th century when a large number of Indians migrated to Vietnam and live near the temple area. Today, the temple is still regarded by the Indians as their most sacred place. Every day, there are plenty of visitors – both Indians and Vietnamese even some foreigners to light at the temple and pray for the happiness and health of themselves and their families. You can go here in your group tour in Saigon to experience the uniqueness of this temple.
Inside the temple
Mariamman Temple is built in the Hindu-inspired architecture of southern India. With many changes in the history, Mariamman Temple is not only famous for its unique architecture but also a sacred place. It is an incarnation of Siva (God of Destruction). While Siva was worshiped by the middle and upper classes, Mariamman was worshiped by the poor. According to legend, Mariamman (Mother Mari) is the goddess associated with fertility and prosperous rain, disease, and rain in southern India, dominated in rural Tamil state. Mariamman is the image of a beautiful young woman with a red face with a red costume, who many hands representing more strength or sometimes you can find her statue with only two or four hands. She is often sculpted in sitting or standing posture, a trident handle, a cup of rice.
The God statue
Inside the temple, on the three sides, there are 18 statues representing 18 gods, all of whom are the reincarnations of Siva. The temple consists of the main shrine of Mariamman and in the two sides, there are Maduraiveeran (left) and Pechiamman (right). Featuring architecture for religious beliefs, the pagoda has a unique layout. At the left-hand side is the lion Simha Vahanam, the riding maternity of God Mariamman. The architectural style of the temple is arranged in U-shape that brings a cozy feeling to visitors. “Mariammam is a model goddess (myth) in popular Hinduism in South India. There are three Hindu temples in District 1: one in Truong Dinh Street, one in Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street and one in Ton That Thiep Street. Among these temples, the temple at 45 Truong Dinh Street, Ben Thanh Ward is the oldest temple and crowded of Vietnamese and Chinese people to worship. The temple was built in 1885, in the area where Indians previously set up shops to do business.
Especially twice a day, the fire sacrifice ceremony of Mariamman and the gods is celebrated at 10 am and 7 pm respectively. People believe that the attendants enjoy the blessing of accepting the god’s fire Agni from the sacrifice.
God is also the god of bumper crops, fertile land as in the traditional belief. People come to prayer as the idea in which the demand for childbirth or get married. The gods are worshiped in places other than India, most notably Singapore. In Vietnam, there is a shrine in District I, Ho Chi Minh City.
Mariamman Temple is the result of the cultural exchange between the Indian community and Vietnamese culture. The cultural intercourse has great significance in creating diversity and richness for Vietnamese religions. Every religion has its reason, but in general, the goal is educating people to become a good person, willing to love others and doing good things to create a better world. This place is worth a spot in your list of must-go destinations on your travel to southern Vietnam, right?