Sri Mariamman Temple

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File:Sri Mariamman Temple.jpg
Entrance of the temple.

The Sri Mariamman Temple is the largest & oldest Hindu Temple in Singapore, and is located in the Chinatown district within the Central Area, Singapore's central business district. Sri Mariamman Temple is managed by the Hindu Endowments Board, a statutory board under the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.

History[edit]

Its history began in 1827 when Naraina Pillay, a government clerk who arrived in the same ship with Stamford Raffles, erected a wood and attap hut. In 1843 the present temple was constructed and dedicated to the goddess Mariamman who is worshipped for her power to protect against disease and death. It provided an important place of worship for early Indian immigrants and is now an important cultural and national heritage.

Built in the south Indian Dravidian style, the temple most interesting feature is the impressive gopuram (tower) over the main entrance, which is decorated with a crowded collection of multicolored Hindu deities.

Festivals[edit]

Once every 12 years, in keeping with Hindu tradition, the temple is reconsecrated. An annual timiti or fire walking ceremony is held about a week before Deepavali, the Festival of Lights.