Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore

by - March 04, 2021

Hi everyone! Actually, I wasn't planning to visit the Sri Mariamman Temple but late in the evening while I was in Chinatown in Singapore I could see the bright and colorful covered carvings on a building in the distance so I decided to investigate. I'd never been in a Hindu temple before so I was really excited about seeing what it was like.

This is my very first time experience to visit the Sri Mariamman Temple (Tamil: ஸ்ரீ மாரியம்மன் கோவில்) in Singapore. Located at 244 South Bridge Road, in the downtown Chinatown district, the temple serves the majority Hindu Singaporeans, Tamilians, in the city-state. It’s really hard to miss the temple because it has a beautiful color from the entrance to inside. Due to its architectural and historical significance, the temple has been gazetted a National Monument and is a major tourist attraction. 

Door at the Sri Mariamman Temple.

Now let's take a look inside the temple! Enjoy! Sri Mariamman Temple Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 - 12:00 and 18:00 - 21:00.

If you have a DSLR camera you need to purchase a permit to take photographs. They do provide shawls and sarongs for visitors that do not meet the dress code.

Shoes and sandals are not allowed to wear inside! So you have to take off your shoes or sandals and socks in front of the temple before entering. I was a little concerned about coming out of the temple and my sandals having disappeared but everyone else was doing the same thing and this was not a problem in Singapore.

When in Singapore, pay a visit to Sri Mariamman Temple and get blessed. There are a series of small altars where you would find people worshipping.

The gateway into the temple is immense. There is no entry fee. The entrance tower is covered with figurative sculptures of Gods and Goddesses and mythological beasts. Within the temple compound are shrines capped with colorful domes called Vimanam. 

If you look at bit higher you can see there are sculptures of cows laying down on the tops of the wall, sacred to Hindus, can also be found on the boundary walls around the compound.

One of the things I impressed with the Sri Mariamman Temple is their interior design. This building is very well-maintained and very beautifully decorated.

From the outside, you can see a lot of the exquisite statues and architecture.

Iravan/Aravan, also known as Iravat and Iravant, is a minor character from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The son of Pandava prince Arjuna (one of the main heroes of the Mahabharata) and the Naga princess Ulupi, Iravan is the central deity of the cult of Kuttantavar which is also the name commonly given to him in that cult—and plays a major role in the cult of Draupadi. Both these cults are of Tamil origin, from a region of the country where he is worshipped as a village deity and is known as Aravan. He is also a patron god of well-known transgender communities called ThiruNangai (also Aravani in Tamil, and Hijra throughout South Asia).

Arjuna (Sanskrit: अर्जुन, IAST: Arjuna), also known as Partha and Dhananjaya, is the main protagonist of the Indian epic Mahabharata and also appears in other ancient Hindu texts including the Bhagavata Purana. In the epic, he is the third among Pandavas, the five sons of Pandu. The family formed part of the royal line of the Kuru Kingdom. In the Mahabharata War, Arjuna was a key warrior from the Pandava side and slew many warriors including his nemesis, Karna. Before the beginning of the war, his mentor, Krishna, taught him the knowledge of Bhagavad Gita.

Durga (Sanskrit: दुर्गा, IAST: Durgā), is identified as the principal Hindu goddess of war, strength and protection. The legend centres around combating evils and demonic forces that threaten peace, prosperity, and Dharma the power of good over evil. Durga is also a fierce form of the protective mother goddess, who unleashes her divine wrath against the wicked for the liberation of the oppressed, and entails destruction to empower creation.
The word Durga (दुर्गा) literally means "impassable","invincible, unassailable". It is related to the word Durg (दुर्ग) which means "fortress, something difficult to defeat or pass". According to Monier Monier-Williams, Durga is derived from the roots dur (difficult) and gam (pass, go through). According to Alain Daniélou, Durga means "beyond defeat.

Periyachi Amman (Tamil:பெரியாச்சி) is a ferocious aspect of the Divine Mother in Hinduism. She is also known as Periyachi Amman (amman meaning "Mother") and sometimes called as Periyachi Kali Amman and she is associated with another powerful goddess Kali. Periyachi is the protector of children and is associated with childbirth and pregnancy. Periyachi is usually associated with Hinduism in Singapore and Malaysia.

Sri Kaliamman

Madurai Veeran, also known as Veeran is a Tamil folk deity popular in southern Tamil Nadu, India. His name was derived as a result of his association with the city of Madurai as a protector of the city. He is widely worshipped as a Great hero of the people. His name literally means "warrior of Madurai."

This statue scares me.

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.

This decoration is astonishing by the multitude of its characters and by its beautiful bright colors: the statuettes represent 72 divinities and people of the people. There are of course Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, but the temple itself is dedicated to Mariamman, the incarnation of Parvati, Shiva's wife, renowned for her ability to cure diseases. Near the gopuram, there are statues of Krishna, god of war, the first deity in Tamil country, and his son Murugan.

So colorful and interesting with so many deities. It is a good worship place to visit and understand the culture of Hindu religion and culture.

Overall, I loved the cultural experience and I am really glad that I decided to go in. It was really amazing to see this place it attracts many people across races, religions, and nationalities and enfolds them all in its unifying embrace of common humanity. I'm happy being able to visit and to have a glimpse into the Hindu culture.

Have you ever been to Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore? What do you think about this place? Let me know your opinion on this! Just leave a comment below and I will make sure to read and reply to all of them. Well, that's all for my trip to the Sri Mariamman Temple. I hope you enjoy this post and see you guys in my next post!
244 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058793

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