The Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore is its most ancient Hindu temple. It is one of the most important historical edifices in the land.
Location and How to Get to This Specific Site
The temple is at No. 244 South Bridge Road; this in the Chinatown district. You can get there via the East-West MRT. You can also use other public transportation in the city.
What to See There
The structure is built in the Dravidian style. One of the site’s main attractions is the elaborately carved gopuram. This is over the entrance. The gopuram can be seen along the South Bridge Road. The decorations include half a dozen tiers of sculptures. These sculptures depict Hindu gods and other figures in ornate dresses.
The tower tapers to a beautifully decorated ridge. The dimensions of each tier are a bit smaller than the one preceding it. The effect is such that it appears very high.
The temple was established in 1927 by Naraina Pillai. The original temple was a simple one. But in 1931 it was greatly expanded. The oldest components in the present shrine date from 1843. From that point on, various modifications and additions were made to the structure.
Various sculptures and decorations were created by craftsmen from Cuddalore and Nagapattinam at the South India districts. Majority of the current edifice was constructed from 1862 to 1863. The walkway linking the entryway used to be layered in attap. But a fire broke out in 1910, destroying it.
There is no entrance fee. But you have to pay $3 for taking pictures. If you want to use a video camera, the fee is $6.
This temple is still in use. Remove your shoes and make sure the worshippers are not disturbed. The temple is also known for the Thimithi fire-walking festival. This takes place seven days before Deepavali. That is around October or November.
The Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore also functioned as a haven for immigrants to the country. Apart from being a house of worship, it also gave these people a place to stay until they could find work.