Sri Mariamman Temple, Chinatown – Oldest Hindu Temple In Singapore

Mariamman Temple

As you might expect from the name, Chinatown is an area with authentic Chinese cuisine, unique retail markets and cultural hotspots.Proving our country’s status as a melting pot, Chinatown is where you’ll find it Mariamman Templethe oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.

It’s frequently featured in Singapore travel guidebooks, but many locals may not be familiar with this iconic landmark, aside from its palatial exterior. Whether you’re a history buff or keen on how Hindu prayer works, here’s a glimpse into the temple’s journey from construction to modern practice.

Built in 1827, preserved through a $4 million restoration project

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The temple is located in the bustling Chinatown downtown area, attractive oh oh and ah ah From pedestrians and passengers on buses and cars. Although construction of the building began in 1827, the Mariamman Temple has taken a long journey to reach and maintain its current grandeur.

The earliest temples were built by South Indian immigrant artisans in Singapore. If you’re curious about the origin of the temple’s name, this place of worship was built in honor of Goddess Mariamán – the Hindu goddess of rain and protector of disease.

Sri Mariamman Temple 1800s
The original structure was simple but already gorgeous.
Image Source: Hindu Endowment Council

Back in the 1800’s, the temple had a humble beginning, with construction mostly made of wood and attap. Over the next few decades, this evolved into brick and stucco to better withstand the elements, and by 1962 the temple had undergone the initial stages of transformation into what we see today. That is, the elaborate architecture and intricate sculptures of Hindu deities.

hindu temple statue god
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Of course, given not only its long history, but also the constant flow of people over the past 200 years, the temple has undergone several restoration works from time to time. The most recent, in 2010, was a massive $4 million project that brought in a team of 20 artists from India to subtly repaint each stone sculpture.

Prayer, offerings and festive celebrations at the Mariamman Temple

Hindu temple prayer
Image Source: @lidiaratoi

Step inside the Mariamman Temple and you’ll find 6 floors of sculptures featuring Hindu deities and mythological figures. All are welcome to offer prayers and offerings, whether you are Hindu or not.As part of Hindu worship practices, items such as flowers, butter lamps and other small offerings are called Achanay.

Archanai Hindu Temple Prayer Products
Archanai ranges from small and simple to elaborately decorated.
Image Source: Mariamman Temple

to accompany you in prayers for protection, wealth and blessings, Achanay Offerings can be purchased at the temple at moderate prices.picture butter lamp, rose waterand coconut Yes $1/pieceHowever wreath Pricing $5 each.

Technology and the World Wide Web have undoubtedly come a long way, and devotees can now Sri Mariamman Temple Archanai Online Portal. Yes, you can pray and make offerings without leaving home! Guess staying connected over the internet goes beyond the realm.

Singapore Fire Escape Theemithi
Image Source: Mariamman Temple

Apart from daily prayers, the temple also hosts important celebrations and festivals in the Hindu calendar. The most notable of these is the fire escape ceremonies held every year from October to November.Call Tamitithis ceremony takes place 1 week before Deepavali, which we call the Festival of Lights.

In a stunning physical and spiritual feat, devotees walk through a pit of burning embers in exchange for the blessing of the goddess Draupadi, who is said to have been born from a fire sacrifice. Crowds of devotees gathered to celebrate the event, and the atmosphere was filled with excitement and festive cheers.

Hindu temple etiquette, first-time visitors need to pay attention

Whether you’re giving advice to foreign friends, or you’re a first-time visitor yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to temple etiquette. In general, these guidelines apply to all temples and even other places of worship, not just Mariamman temples.

Sri Mariamman Temple Hindu temple
Image Source: @grn.tubt1m

When it comes to clothing, temple visitors should dress conservatively. Your shoulders must be covered, so you can bring a scarf or shawl if you’re wearing sleeveless clothing for protection from the heat in SG.

Visitors are advised not to wear any clothing that is too fitting or revealing. When in doubt, proceed with caution. But don’t worry, as temples do provide wraps and coverings when asked.

Hindu religious deity
Image Source: @bajisvideo

You must take off your shoes before entering the original temple grounds. The shoe has a designated section, so don’t worry about your foot getting caught.

When praying, make sure to sit with your feet away from the deity. As the temple is a peaceful place of worship and prayer, please take care to keep the volume low.

Last but not least, hugging and other forms of PDA in temples are considered inappropriate, so if you are with Peiwhose #1 love language is probably physical touch.

A glimpse of Hinduism at the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore

The oldest Hindu temple in Singapore
Image Source: @at the seaside__

Fun fact: Hinduism is actually the oldest religion in the world, and scholars have been able to trace its origins to more than 4,000 years of practice. It is also the third largest religion in the world after Christianity and Islam, with approximately 900 million people professing its faith.

If these statistics pique your interest and leave you eager to learn more about the history, culture and traditions of Hinduism, then we can’t think of a better way than to visit the Mariamman Temple.

It is the place where proper Hindu worship began in Singapore, and apart from a rich heritage spanning almost 2 centuries, just seeing the wonderful structure of this temple IRL is an awe-inspiring experience.

In addition to making unique and rich outings, you might want to Volunteers at the Mariamman Temple or make a donation. With a minimum donation of just $5, every bit counts.

Sri Mariamman Temple Religious Ceremony
During religious ceremonies held in temples, there are large numbers of devotees.
Image Source: Mariamman Temple

As for volunteering, temples are always looking for extra help, especially during peak festival seasons and festivities. You can provide services in crowd control, temple cleaning, religious offering services, and even photography and videography of events.

One thing is for sure, you will get an up-close and immersive experience that will expose you to Hinduism in a way that no textbook or documentary can.

Learn more about Mariamman Temple

address: 244 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058793
Business hours: 7am to 12pm and 6pm to 9pm daily
touch: 6223 4064 | Sri Mariamman website

Here are some other guides you might be interested in:

Cover image adapted from: Hindu Endowment Council, Wikimedia Commons

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