Discover with Timothy Tye
Sri Mariamman Temple

Start here
Sri Mariamman TempleSri Mariamman Temple (12 September, 2010)


Sri Mariamman Temple at 244 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058793, is the oldest and biggest Hindu Temple in Chinatown as well as in Singapore. It was founded in 1827 by Naraina Pillay (variously written as Naraina Pillai, Narayan Pillai, Narayana Pillay), a clerk of the British East India Company who arrived in Singapore from Penang aboard the same ship that carried Stamford Raffles.

Settling down in Singapore, Naraina Pillay started several businesses including a brick kiln and a cotton trading company. He sought from the British authorities a piece of land to build a Hindu temple. At first he was offered a site along Teluk Ayer Street, which was then beside the bay. However, the site did not have fresh water.

William Farquhar, the British Resident of Singapore, then suggested a plot along Bras Basah Road. Eventually, the Town Planning Committee determined a site along South Bridge Road, and in 1823, Naraina Pillay began his temple.

Sri Mariamman TempleSri Mariamman Temple (12 September, 2010)


Initially, the Sri Mariamman Temple was only a small attap hut with the small statue of the deity, called Sinna Amman, in the main sanctum. This small statue is still there in the main sanctum today. It was originally known as Mariamman Kovil and later on as Kling Street Temple. Later on, the temple was expanded when an Indian landowner Seshasalam Pillay donated some land to it.

The attap hut was replaced by a brick building in 1843. It was constructed by ex-convicts from Madras who happened to be skilled craftsmen. Funds came from Indians who settled in Singapore from Nagapatnam and Cuddalore districts of South India. It was dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, whom the Hindus believed has the power to protect them against disease and death. The temple also became a place for newly arrived immigrants from South India to find shelter before they could get permanent living quarters. Being a temple built by the South Indians, the Sri Mariamman Temple was built in the South Indian Dravidian style.

Sculptures at the Sri Mariamman TempleSculptures at the Sri Mariamman Temple (12 September, 2010)


The temple building that we see today, complete with its intricate sculptures, date from only 1962. Its most outstanding feature is the gopuram, or grand entrance tower. The original gopuram built in the 1800's was much more plain in design.

The earliest consecration ceremony, or kumbabishegam, of the Sri Mariamman Temple, according to temple records, only date to June 1936. The second was held in 1949. Subsequently, kumbabishegams were also held in 1971, 1984 and 1996.

Visitors may enter the Sri Mariamman Temple at any time of the day, but the best visiting hours are between 7am to 12 noon and 6pm to 8.30pm. While entrance is fee, you need to purchase tickets for bringing in still and video cameras. And of course, you should enter barefooted. On the doors are many bells which devotees will ring with the belief that doing so will make their requests be granted. During the Theemidhi festival, which occurs somewhere in October or November every year, you may get to watch the amazing fire-walking ritual. An interesting trivia is that Pagoda Street, the road just beside the Sri Mariamman Temple, was erroneously named because the British authorities mistook the gopuram of the Sri Mariamman Temple for a pagoda.

The Sri Mariamman Temple was gazetted a National Monument of Singapore on 6 July 1973.

Gopuram of the Sri Mariamman TempleGopuram of the Sri Mariamman Temple (12 September, 2010)

Getting there

The nearest MRT station to the Sri Mariamman Temple is the Chinatown MRT Station (NE4).

List of the Hindu Temples in Singapore

Add your business/shop to my site

How would you like to have your business or shop added to this website, so that would-be customers can easily find you? This website provides place information of the whole world, with special emphasis on Malaysia and Singapore.

If you has a shop or business anywhere in Malaysia or Singapore, with a physical location, you may have your shop listed on one of the pages of this site. For example, a shop in Cheras will be placed on the Cheras page, another in Kota Bharu is listed in the Kota Bharu page, and so on. You only need to pay a one-time fee, and your shop will be listed for you for as long as this site is still running. There are different placement plans available. To find out more, CONTACT ME

Visiting Singapore? Get your hotel room here

Compare the room rates from different online booking sites to get the best rates for your trip.

Going somewhere?

If you're travelling somewhere, look for accommodation using the Search Hotel engine below. It helps you find the online booking site that offers the best rates for the room you want.

Going somewhere by express bus in Malaysia/Singapore?

Book your bus ticket online right here. It is easy, safe and fast!.

 Latest pages in Discover with Timothy Tye

 Vital Links

Hire a car | Our Recipes | Facebook Posts | Just Curious | Not In The Dictionary | Our Flowering Garden

My YouTube Videos

Timothy Tye YouTube Channel

Check out my YouTube Channel and don't forget to subscribe!

 List of 553 sights in Singapore

 List of 190 streets in Singapore

Planning Areas of Singapore

"Planning Areas" are the de facto districts of Singapore. This map shows you all the planning areas of the island nation. Click on them to get to know each area.

Explore Singapore made easy with MRT

This comprehensive map of the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit shows you every station in the network, so that you can easily plan your journeys and change trains accordingly. As with the bus and LRT, you are charged a fare according to the distance travelled.

 Discover the World

About Timothy Tye

Welcome to my website, Discover with Timothy Tye. I started it in 2003 to freely share information about places. Today it has close to thirty thousand pages. I have been writing this website full time since 1 November 2007, and continue to do so as a means to satisfy my curiosity about the world around me. I am happy if the information I have assembled is useful to you. Please follow me on Facebook!

As a Christian, I hope that through this website, I am able to deliver God's Good News to those who need it all over the world. If you wish to contact me, please submit the contact form. Thanks again, don't forget to follow me on Facebook!


 Malaysia Travel Tips!

My Malaysia Travel Tips has useful information on every state in Malaysia (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Terengganu) and every major city and destination (Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Ipoh, Langkawi, Cameron Highlands, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Alor Setar, Seremban, Petaling Jaya, Putrajaya, Kota Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Taiping) and hundreds of smaller towns.

Hosting

This website is hosted on Bluehost, one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world.

Copyright © 2003-2018 Timothy Tye. All Rights Reserved.