Photo Of Shivling Found In Vietnam Falsely Linked To Gyanvapi Mosque

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A photo of an excavation site showing a Shivling unearthed from several feet beneath the ground in Mỹ Sơn, central Vietnam in 2020, is being shared online falsely linking it to the ongoing dispute over the Gyanvapi mosque in Uttar Pradesh, where a Shivling was claimed to have been found on Monday.

The photo is being in context of a legal dispute over the Mughal-era Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, UP which Hindu groups allege has been built atop a Hindu shrine. On May 16, 2022 a Shivling was claimed to have been found during a court-mandated survey. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee representing the Muslim side have claimed that the object described as Shivling is a fountain in the Wazu Khana (ablution) area.

The image, which shows archaeologists examine an excavation site where a large Shivling can be seen, is being shared by Hindu social media users linking it to recent developments in Varanasi.

The photo was also shared by lawyer Vaibhav Tripathi with a sarcastic caption. The tweet was deleted after replies pointed out that the Shivling was discovered in Vietnam and not India.


A reverse image search on the photo on Google, shows search results with news reports about a '1100 year old' Shivling discovered in Vietnam in 2020.

The news of the discovery by Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in Vietnam made headlines in India and was widely reported by Hindi and English news outlets in May 2020. Mainstream news outlets such as Navbharat Times and News18 Hindi also reported the discovery.

"The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) recently discovered a monolithic sandstone Shiva linga from the 9th century CE, during the ongoing conservation project at Mỹ Sơn — a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples in Quảng Nam province in central Vietnam," the Print reported at the time.

The Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a temple complex in central Vietnam with partially ruined structures dating back to a period between the 4th and 13th centuries, as the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom.

India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had also tweeted about the find applauding ASI and highlighting the civilization connect between India and Vietnam.

A zoomed in image of the Shivling found in Vietnam, which is now falsely being linked to the Gyanvapi mosque, was also tweeted by the minister.

Reaffirming a civilisational connect.

Monolithic sandstone Shiv Linga of 9th c CE is latest find in ongoing conservation project. Applaud @ASIGoI team for their work at Cham Temple Complex, My Son, #Vietnam. Warmly recall my visit there in 2011.

— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) May 27, 2020
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