Friday, September 23, 2011

Singapore - Sri Mariamman Temple at Chinatown

Many tourists are flocking to Sri Mariamman Temple not only due to its proximity to downtown Chinatown but it is also considered as one of the major tourists attractions in Singapore. It is located at the corner of Pagoda Street and South Bridge Road. Moreover, it is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.

Outside, the temple looks awesome due to bright and colorful design of its tower. This is the first Hindu temple I have entered.

Even the huge pair of wooden doors are studded with golden bells which the devotees are supposed to ring as they enter.

The temple is open for tourists but foot wears are not allowed inside. You also need to purchase ticket in case you will use camera or video cam inside the temple.

The entrance hall.

The main hall.

When I arrived at the temple, it was almost 6 pm and these musicians (?) were playing loud music and ringing an outdoor bell in unison while the Hindu holy men were opening one-by-one the curtains covering the different shrines outside the main temple or prayer area. I have no idea regarding this Hindu ritual or ceremony. Near the outdoor bell is a flag pole; they raise the flag during important occasion or celebration.

Another Hindu ritual (?) was also being performed at that time. Food was being distributed or shared to the devotees.


Due to complexity of designs of the ceilings, I believe there are some meanings behind them. Really, I can not find appropriate words to describe the artistic and colorful design of this temple. It is simply fascinating.

There are several Hindu shrines outside the main prayer hall/area. When I arrived, I have noticed that these shrines were closed or covered by curtains and one-by-one Hindu holy men were clearing/opening those curtains while loud music were being played and ringing of outdoor bell by those musicians above. I have no faintest idea about this ritual thus if I have time, I would ask my Hindu colleague why their shrines are sometimes covered.

outside shots

Yearly fire walking festival is being held here one week before Diwali or" Festival of Lights". Even in middle-east, Diwali is being celebrated due to large Indian (Kerala) population. In my previous company in Abu Dhabi, they served our food on banana leaf during Diwali festival.

I really appreciate the openness of Singapore's different temples and their devotees by allowing tourists to observe their rituals and ceremonies. 

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