Mariamman Hindu Temple, situated in Ho Chi Minh City, is an impressive representation to the rich architectural and cultural heritage of India. Unlike the majority of pagodas and temples in the city, which were founded by Vietnamese or Chinese immigrants, Mariamman Hindu Temple stands as a architectural masterpiece constructed in the early 20th century by the Tamil community who had settled in the area. Despite the small Hindu population in the city, the temple’s colorful and sacred atmosphere attracts people from various backgrounds, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural diversity of the region.
Location & opening times
- Address: Mariamman Hindu Temple is located at 45 Truong Dinh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
- Opening times: The temple is open daily from morning until evening, typically from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
- Entrance fee: Admission to Mariamman Hindu Temple is free of charge.
How to get there
To get to Mariamman Hindu Temple, located in the central District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, you have multiple convenient options. If you are in the vicinity of Ben Thanh Market, which is just 250 meters away, you can easily walk to the temple. However, if you are in a different area of the city center, taking a taxi is the most convenient option. The taxi fare should be around 50,000 VND, depending on your exact location within the city center.
Visiting tips & rules
- Dress respectfully and modestly when visiting the temple.
- Take note that the temple is open all day on every Friday, as well as on the 1st and 15th days of the lunar month.
- While photography is allowed inside the temple, be considerate and avoid using flash or making loud sounds. Always ask for permission before taking photos of people who are praying.
- Make the most of your visit by exploring other attractions in the area. Ben Thanh Market is just 250 meters away, offering a variety of souvenirs. Tao Dan Park, located 350 meters away, provides a peaceful environment for relaxation. For a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s history, visit Independence Palace, approximately 750 meters away. Lastly, immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and admire colonial buildings along Nguyen Hue Walking Street, which is around 800 meters from the temple.
History of the Hindu Temple
Indian people arrived in Saigon over 120 years ago and established various pagodas and temples in the city. The French colonials brought Tamils from Pondicherry and Karikal colonies to Saigon, where they settled in an area near Ben Thanh Market. The Tamils, particularly from the Chettiar community, later arrived in Vietnam for business purposes, including money lending, real estate, finance, and textile.
Among the temples built by the Indian community in Saigon is the Mariamman Hindu Temple, located in Ben Thanh Ward. Historical documents suggest that a small house once stood at the present site of the temple, serving as a place of worship for the Indian residents and traders in the area during the late 19th century.
The Mariamman Hindu Temple was officially constructed by Indian traders towards the end of the 19th century, initially serving as a modest temple accessible only to Hindu followers. In the 1950s, the temple underwent a rebuilding process by Indian businessmen living in Ho Chi Minh City, transforming it into a place for practicing their beliefs and seeking prosperity, luck, and success in business.
Highlights and architecture of Mariamman Temple
Today, the temple stands as a remarkable testament to Indian architectural traditions and Tamil community, with a vibrant exterior, colorful paintings and imported materials and statues crafted by Tamil artisans. The design and construction of the temple were primarily led by the Indian community living in Vietnam.
Inside the temple, you will find a sanctuary dedicated to Mariamman, the goddess of rain and fertility. The central shrine is beautifully decorated with statues and altars, where devotees offer prayers and seek blessings. The atmosphere is filled with the scent of incense and the sounds of devotional chants, creating a serene and spiritual ambiance.
The architecture of the Mariamman Temple is a blend of Dravidian and Chola styles, characterized by its intricate carvings and ornate details. The gopuram, a towering entrance gate decorated with sculptural depictions of gods and goddesses, is a true highlight. The colorful and with great attention to detail crafted murals depicting Hindu mythology add to the temple’s artistic allure.
Exploring the temple grounds, you will come across smaller shrines dedicated to various gods or goddesses, each with its own unique decorations and symbolism. These areas offer an opportunity to learn more about Hindu beliefs and customs. The temple’s courtyard is often bustling with activities, from religious ceremonies to cultural events, providing a glimpse into the vibrant Hindu community in Ho Chi Minh City.