The gopurum, or entrance tower, and the painted ceiling of the main sanctum

I visited the newly painted Sri Mariamman Temple the other day and it looks fabulous. For the past year artisans from India have been meticulously redoing the hundreds of murals and sculptures in the temple complex.


Sri Mahendri, Verdic Goddess characterised by wrath and jealousy


Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, dating back to 1827 and is one of the best known landmarks here. The temple was originally a very simple building made from wood and palm until 1843, when a plaster and brick building was put up for the first time.

Regal looking Sri Muthala Raga

Sri Sapthakanigal with cloth saris

It was only in 1962 that a new temple structure was developed complete with intricate sculptural works reminiscent of temple architecture in South India.

The ferocious looking Sri Periyachi Amman, believed to cure infertility

The original gopuram (grand tower entrance) was constructed in the late 1800's but did not contain much ornamental work until the 1060s when it was repaired and restored with the elaborate sculptures we see today.

Priests discussing temple business?

I payed $3 to take photos and so I wandered around for a good while. It is a fascinating place to observe the priests giving blessings and attending to the daily needs of the deities, and worshipers paying their respects. The priests chat together, drink chai and study their books. You can walk around the whole complex and there are lots more sculptures around the back, so don't miss them.


The vibrant sculptures at the back of the complex, with detail

The paintings are vibrant and seem to cover many of the Hindu deities. Some are a little frightening, one depicting a Goddess on a growling lion fighting warriors with swords and arrows, while others, such as Sri Krishna, are serene and peaceful. All are extremely colourful, even gaudy, but lots of fun to explore.

Sri Marriamman Temple
244 South Bridge Road
Singapore

2 comments

Anonymous said... @ May 4, 2010 at 12:20 AM

That looks amazing. I drove past it last week and saw it was free from (most of) its scaffolding. Will definitely take my mother in law there this week. Thanks for posting the photos. Gx

* Michael * said... @ May 4, 2010 at 5:45 AM

Very Nice Temple, I am also planning to give a review of this temple later but have yet find the time to go down to visit it. May be the end of this year....

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