Mariamman Pagoda (Vietnamese: Chùa Bà Ấn Độ) is located at 45 Truong Dinh, Ben Thanh ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. The pagoda is built by some Indian Vietnamese in 1885 and worships Mariamman, an Indian Goddess. It is famous because of having Indian ancient architecture and being believed to have supernatural power.
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) has over 300 historical years. Many people in different places have come here to earn living, including Chinese, Indian. Therefore, The Saigon culture is the same as the culture of the opening cities in the world such as New York, Shanghai, open, not narrow like elsewhere. Saigon has some Indian pagoda built by some Indian Vietnamese, but Mariamman Pagoda was built most early. At first Mariamman Temple was just a small hut built by Indians to serve the spiritual life and until the early 20th century the temple was rebuilt as it is today.
Goddess Mariamman is the Rain God of Hinduism. The god has a red face and one hand holds a trishula (Trishula (Sanskrit: त्रिशूल, IAST: triśūla) is a trident, commonly used as the principal symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism.). She makes the soil fertile and crops bumper. In addition, she also carries out thousands of other things to help human beings such as getting married, giving birth, making disease dissipating. The god is worshiped in places such as India, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Looking generally, Mariamman Pagoda is built according to the Hindu architecture style. The pagoda has the shape of letter U. The main hall worships Goddess Mariamman. Two sides of her have 2 protecting gods: Maduraiveeran (left) and Pechiamman (right) and 2 icons look like pumpkins. The space behind the main hall has the walls made of granite stone, a place is said to be very sacred.
Goddess Mariamman statue and 2 protecting goddesse
Along the walls are the 18 statues of gods with different demeanor symbolizing 18 people’s wishes. Entrance on the left has the lion statue used by Mariamman Mother. Through many ups and downs of history, Mariamman temple is not only famous for its unique architecture but also a place of sacred fame. It is said that if people pray, all the prayers will become a reality.
In the present, every day, lots of Indian Vietnamese and Vietnamese come here to pray. In addition, lots of foreign tourists also come here to admire the architecture of the pagoda. Some people burn incenses, pray, some offer Goddess Mariamman offerings, some embrace the granite walls, praying. Especially, twice a day, at 10 am and 7 pm, there are ceremonies. The devotees use fire to offer to the gods. At the time of the ceremony, the temple emits bells the same as bells in churches of Catholicism.