The Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple. It is an agamic temple, built in the Dravidian style. Located at 244 South Bridge Road, in the downtown Chinatown district, the temple serves the majority Hindu Singaporeans, Tamilians, in the city-state. Due to its architectural and historical significance, the temple has been gazetted a National Monument and is a major tourist attraction. Sri Mariamman Temple is managed by the Hindu Endowments Board, a statutory board under the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.
The Sri Mariamman Temple was founded in 1827 by Naraina Pillai, eight years after the East India Company established a trading settlement in Singapore. Pillai was a government clerk from Penang who arrived in Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles on his second visit to the island in May 1819. Pillai went on to set up the island’s first construction company, and also entered the textile trade. He rapidly established himself in business and was identified as a leader of the Indian community.
Initially, the British authorities allotted land for a Hindu temple along Telok Ayer Street. This street ran alongside Telok Ayer Bay, where most early Asian immigrants first landed in Singapore, and where they went to pray and give thanks for a safe sea journey. The Thian Hock Keng and Nagore Durgha Shrine, respectively Singapore’s earliest Chinese and Indian Muslim places of worship, are located there. However, Telok Ayer Street lacked a convenient source of fresh water which was needed for Hindu temple rituals.
Built in the Dravidian style of architecture, Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore dating back to 1827. The temple is one of the most visited in the country thanks to its religious importance, colourful exterior and magnificent architecture. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Mariamman who is believed to have the power to cure epidemic illnesses and diseases. The temple gate or gopuram is adorned with sculptures of gods, goddesses and mythological beasts.
Entrance Fee Free
Address 244 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058793
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