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Sri Mariamman Temple – The Hand of a Benign God

The oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, Sri Mariamman Temple was constructed for the many Indian immigrants to worship the Goddess Mariamman who was known to have the power of curing epidemic illnesses as well as diseases. The temple is situated in the heart of Chinatown and its distinct tower entrance has become an important icon for both Hindu worshippers and Singaporeans alike.

While this religious monument is most certainly a prominent cultural and spiritual destination, it also presents visitors with architecture that can surely be appreciated by enthusiasts. The most prominent highlight is the distinct entrance which is decorated with six levels of deities and other important religious figures that greet all who enter. An interesting aesthetic trick of having smaller figures with each row upwards creates the illusion of height. On either side of the inside of the entrance are statues of Krishna and Murugan which are the first of many to greet visitors.

Another noteworthy aspect of the entrance are the two large double leaf timber doors that are created on such a scale as to induce feelings of humility in all those who pass through them.

Inside the perimeter of the temple wall are various shrines, service areas, covered halls and several open air sections.

Directly from the entrance visitors will find themselves in the main prayer hall that is decorated with frescoes on the ceiling that is supported by elaborate and ornate columns. The prayer hall like the temple itself is dedicated to Mariamman though two smaller shrines lay on either side which are dedicated to the Gods Murugan and Rama. Numerous other free standing shrines are also scattered throughout. These shrines are dedicated to various other Gods including Ganesh, Durga and many others.

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Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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