Singapore: Sri Mariamman Temple

Located at 244 South Bridge Road, in the Chinatown District of Singapore, Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in the country. 

Speaking of oldest, Sri Mariamman Temple was founded in 1827 by Naraina Pillai. He was a Tamil social entrepreneur and businessman who spent most of his life in Singapore during its colonial period. During the early  17th century, the temple was initially allotted land in Telok Ayer Street together with the earliest Chinese and Muslim places of worship. However, back then, Telok Ayer Street lacked a convenient source of fresh water which was needed for rituals in the Hindu Temple.
Check out the temple's gopuram
Can you spot the guy smoking a bong-like pipe?

Another site was offered near Stamford Canal in 1821 but was again unsuitable because the land was reserved for other uses. Finally, a site for erecting a Hindu Temple was granted to Pillai in 1823. This site is where the current temple structure now stands.
A closer look at the statues at the gopuram.

The first temple structure was made of wood and attap or a kind of nipa palm.  It was finished in 1827. In the same year, Pillai installed the Sinna Amman or the small representation of the goddess Mariamman which is the temple's primary deity. The temple was built in the South Indian Dravidian architectural style.
Here's the history of Sri Mariamman Temple

A private land was donated to the temple in 1831 expanding the temple vicinity. More temple structures were built in the later part of the 19th century. The three-tiered entrance tower or gopuram was constructed in 1903. It was rebuilt to a six-tiered gopuram in 1925 and the elaborate embellishment was then added in the 1960s.
Here's a little look inside the temple

The temple was declared a National Monument by the Preservation of Monuments Board on July 6, 1973. Since then, the temple has undergone several restorative works and renovations. Today, Sri Mariamman Temple is one of the tourist highlights of the Chinatown district. 
Check out the colorful ceiling design

I got to visit the temple during our 2017 Singapore - Malaysia Tour. Sadly, I was not able to cover every corner of the temple due to the limited time we had in Chinatown. Regardless, I highly suggest that you visit and check out this temple when you are in Singapore.

Getting there:

From Changi International Airport, ride the number 34 bus going to Tampines East Station Exit. Ride a Downtown line train going to Chinatown. From the Chinatown station, Sri Mariamman Temple is only 400 meters away by foot.

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