Vietnamese and Indian experts unearthed a Shiv Linga (a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva) dating back to the 9th century during the restoration of a Cham temple complex at My Son Sanctuary, a world cultural heritage site in central Quang Nam province, Vietnam local media Nha Dan reported.
The find was revealed by Phan Ho, the director of the management board of the heritage site, on May 28.
The monolithic sandstone Shiv Linga, which is 2.24 x 1.68 metres in size, is the largest of its kind unearthed in Vietnam to date, according to experts.
The head of the conservation group, Jalihal Ranganath, said the discovery is helpful for the restoration of the Cham temple.
India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar who shared the news on Twitter called it a great cultural example of India’s development partnership and a civilisational connect between the two countries.
According to Swarajya Magazine, the fully intact Shiv Linga is part of a complex of Hindu temples which were constructed by the mighty Champa Empire between 4th century CE and 13th century CE in My Son.
My Son a designated UNESCO world heritage centre is home to a variety of Hindu temples built over 10 centuries and is a testament to the technological sophistication of Cham people.
Vietnamese and Indian experts have also completed the restoration of four stone pillars in front of Tower A10 worshipping God Shiva.
This discovery was done with the help of The Archeological Survey of India (ASI). ASI has undertaken several major conservation works across various countries of Asia.
The ASI is involved in conserving the temples of other countries including the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, the Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia, and the Vat Phou Temple in Laos. It is also engaged in conserving the Gandan monastery''s manuscripts and their digitisation in Mongolia.