Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest Dravidian Hindu temple named after its principal deity, Mariamman – a mother goddess who protects against diseases in rural south India. Therefore, it is the centre of worship for the majority of South Indian Tamil Hindu Singaporeans.
The Temple was founded by an established businessman and local textile trader, Naraina Pillai in 1827. Since then, it has also been used as a Registry of Marriages for Hindus.
The Temple’s exterior plaster sculptures and ornamentation were produced by skilled craftsmen from the Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts of South India.
- The Temple grounds were expanded in 1831 through the donation of private land and a record of this transaction is recorded on a stone tablet situated inside the Temple.
- The original three-tiered gopuram (entrance tower) was constructed in 1903.
- This was superseded by a six-tiered gopuram which was built in 1925; and refurbished in the 1960s; where the scale of each tier and its sculpture is slightly smaller than that of the tier immediately below it.
- This helps create its illusion of height and adds to the symbolic importance of the building.
Sri Mariamman Temple was gazetted as a National Monument on 6th July 1973; by the Singaporean Preservation of Monuments Board.
- The Temple is located on South Bridge Road bounded by Pagoda and Temple Streets, in the downtown Chinatown area.
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