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8 Most Beautiful Temples to Visit in Singapore

10 mins. read

Singapore has a strong multi-cultural past with people from China, India, Malaysia, and other Countries in Asia living peacefully here. Around 10% of Singapore's total population consists of Indians, the majority of whom believe in Hinduism. This explains why there are scores of Hindu temples in Singapore. Since the majority of Indians who relocated here are from South Indian states, the temples here reflect typical South Indian architecture, with tall gopurams, ornamental carvings, and vibrant colours exuding from every corner of the shrine.

Like Hindu temples in other nations outside India, temples in Singapore foster rich Indian culture by hosting large-scale festivals, dance and music concerts, and other religious events. Needless to add, these temples also serve as a link between people residing in other countries and their ancestors in India. If you are looking for the best places to visit in Singapore and are interested in touring the Hindu temples on the island, then here are the top eight temples that must be in your itinerary.

Sri Mariamman Temple

The 'Sri Mariamman Temple' is Singapore's oldest and most famous Hindu temple. It was established in 1827 and is located in the busy Chinatown where thousands of pilgrims and visitors visit every day. The temple, built in genuine Dravidian style with a tall gopuram embellished with beautiful sculptures of figurines and deities linked with Hindu mythology painted in vivid colours, can be seen from afar. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Mariamman who is believed to protect her followers from illness and disease, and it maintains immense religious significance in the hearts of Singapore's Hindu and Tamil residents.

Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore, constructed during the colonial era, was the only temple in Singapore authorized to perform Hindu marriages. To this day, Traditional Hindu marriage ceremonies are still held in the temple. Since it was established, the temple has also offered refuge to many immigrants, giving them shelter and food until they can find work and accommodation. Even today, the temple contributes greatly to social, cultural, and educational reasons for the Hindu community in the country.

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

The 'Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple', located in the heart of Little India on the ever-busy Serangoon Road, is another one of Singapore's revered Hindu temples. The temple, dedicated to Goddess Kali, the remover of evil, is among the country's most ancient places of worship. It was built by a group of labourers who migrated from India's Bengal and Tamil Nadu areas to Singapore in 1881. The temple's architectural style is a callout to the trademark South Indian architecture, decorating the spectacular gopuram covered with brightly coloured sculptures of Hindu legendary figures. It is sure to take your breath away as soon as you gaze upon it!

Those who wish to seek the goddess' blessings can visit the temple at any time of the day, except between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Photography is permissible inside the monastery but be careful not to bother anyone praying and follow the rules - taking off your shoes and dressing modestly before entering.

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple 

The 'Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple' is yet another prominent Hindu temple in Singapore. The temple, dedicated to Lord Perumal (Krishna), a personification of Lord Vishnu, was built in 1855 and represents a Dravidian architectural style. Today, the temple serves as the primary location for the annual Thaipusam festival which honours the Hindu God Murugan. During the event, fervent devotees with metal skewer piercings in their cheeks or tongues and Kavadis decorated with peacock feathers and flowers balanced on their shoulders lead a massive procession carrying Lord Murugan's chariot.

The festival, which ends at the 'Thendayuthapani Temple' on Tank Road, frequently brings Singapore traffic to a halt, presenting a great display to all bystanders. If you happen to be in Singapore around the festival, make a point of visiting the temple and learning about the unique Hindu customs and traditions.

Sri Murugan Hill Temple

Another famous Murugan shrine, known as 'Sri Murugan Hill Temple, is located on Upper Bukit Timah Road in Singapore. As you pass by, the gorgeous and colourful architecture of the temple on a little hill steals your heart. The temple's history begins about 1960 when a plumber working in the region discovered a modest shrine like that of Lord Muneeswaran on the hilltop. Today, the temple is one of Singapore's most famous Hindu temples. Attended by both locals and visitors, the setting on top of the hill adds to the scenic allure.

There will be a lot of things to do in Singapore – visiting the 'Sri Murugan Hill Temple' is a worthy addition to that list.

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a Chinese Buddhist Temple located in Singapore's historic Chinatown area. The five-story temple is famous around the world for housing what is said to be Lord Buddha's left canine tooth, recovered from his cremation pyre in Kushinagar, India.

This relic is housed in a gigantic 320 kg solid gold stupa that sits gleamingly on the fourth story. The main attraction of Singapore’s Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is its style and structure which has been meticulously researched to mimic the Tang Dynasty architectural style and the Buddhist Mandala.

Sri Sivan Temple

The 'Sri Sivan Temple’, located in Singapore's Geylang area, is devoted to Lord Shiva and is one of the nation's finest Hindu temples with the magnificent octagonal-shaped building that is a combination of both North Indian and South Indian design elements. This temple in Singapore holds immense religious significance in the hearts of all Hindus living in the country, and hundreds of devotees gather here every day to offer their prayers and seek blessings from god. Aside from Singaporeans, the temple is a popular destination for foreign tourists who come to learn about Hindu beliefs and traditions.

Those seeking a memorable experience at the Sivan Temple should come during the Maha Shivratri celebration when the temple is bathed in the light of hundreds of lamps and busy with devotees waiting their turn to bathe the precious Shivlinga with milk. Throughout the festival, several cultural programs are held on the temple grounds all night long, providing an unrivalled opportunity for photography enthusiasts and those interested in learning about new cultures to have a great time.

Sri Krishan Temple

The magnificent 'Sri Krishnan Temple' located on Waterloo Street in downtown Singapore has a blue façade adorned with statues of Lord Vishnu's ten incarnations. On either side of the entrance gate, two majestic statues of Lord Hanuman and Garuda stand guard. Built in traditional South Indian style, Sri Krishnan Temple is Singapore's only temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and his wife, Goddess Rukmini. If you happen to be in Singapore during Krishna Janmashtmi, stop by this temple to observe the effervescence and vibrancy that fills the air.

Sri Ramar Temple

The 'Sri Ramar Temple' is devoted to Lord Rama and is located on Changi Village Road on Singapore's East Coast. It is one of the most prominent Vaishnavite temples in Singapore that attracts a large number of worshippers every day, particularly from the surrounding neighbourhoods of Tampines, Pasir Ris, and Simei. When it comes to the temple's history, it began as a tiny shrine with the divinity of Lord Rama under the shade of a tree at its current location. Hindus from the local village began visiting the shrine for regular prayers and donations, and as the congregation expanded, Mr. Ram Naidu, an officer in the then-British Indian Army, worked to convert the modest shrine into a more formal temple.

Today, the temple not only contains the idol of Lord Rama but also sculptures of Lord Buddha and Quan Yin (Chinese Goddess of Mercy), catering to Non-Hindu devotees who come here for the god's blessings. The temple's main attraction is a large and stunning statue of Lord Hanuman that amazes with its colossal size as soon as you see it. If you are in the Changi Village region during the Ram Navami or Hanuman Jayanti festivals, take out the time to visit this magnificent place and immerse your souls in perfect solitude and tranquillity.

Aside from these temples in Singapore, there’s a lot more to include in your Singapore holiday packages throughout the country that can be explored based on your time and interests. Also, when visiting any Hindu temple, make sure you follow certain rules, such as taking off your shoes before entering the sanctuary and dressing appropriately (though Singaporeans are generally quite open-minded about every type of clothing). Photography is normally permitted at temples but it is always a good idea to double-check the rules. Keeping these minor factors in mind, you can have a delightful day exploring the country's gorgeous Hindu temples.

 

December 13, 2021

Author

Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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