Best Hindu Temples in Singapore
- Singapore has over 35 Hindu temples. Many of Singapore’s Hindu temples are based on Dravidian (from South India) and Tamil style of Temple architecture. These temples (“Mandirs”) have an impressive “Gopuram” (beautiful tower with ornate sculpture of Gods and Goddesses) at the entrance.
- 5.1% of Singapore’s adult population follows Hinduism. The majority of Singapore’s Hindus are of Indian origin. It is estimated that over 55% of Singapore’s Indian community are followers of Hinduism. 9.2% of Singapore’s population is of ethnic Indian origin. In addition, Singapore also has around 400,000 Indian non-residents (foreigners and Permanent Residents).
- The first wave of Indian immigrants to Singapore arrived in early 19th century to work for the British East India Company. Most Indian immigrants to Singapore were Tamils from what is today the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
- The first Hindu temple in Singapore was the Sri Mariamman Temple in Chinatown, which was built in 1827.
- Singapore’s Hindu temples welcome people of all faiths, religions, gender and ages.
Sri Mariamman Temple
Presiding Deity: Goddess Mari (a form of Durga)
Built in 1827 (later rebuilt in 1862), Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest and biggest Hindu temple. Sri Mariamman Temple has been declared a National Monument by Singapore authorities. The impressive “Gopuram” at the entrance on South Bridge Road, has 6 layers of statues. “Mariamman” means “Mother Mari”, who is the Goddess of Rain and one of South India’s main Goddess. At Singapore’s Sri Mariamman Temple, the main shrine of Goddess Mariamman is flanked by Lord Ram and Lord Murugan. Highlights of the temple are the impressive roof and the paintings on the ceiling. In addition to Goddess Mariamman, other deities worshipped at the temple are Durga, Ganesh, Aravan, Draupadi and Muthularajah. Main festival at Sri Mariamman Temple is Theemithi (Fire walking ceremony), which is usually held in October. Timing of Sri Mariamman Temple is from 7:00 am to noon and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Presiding Deity: Goddess Veeramakaliamman (Goddess Kali, Goddess Shakthi)
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is a key attraction in Singapore’s Little India. A 14 hand Goddess Kali is the main deity of the temple. Kali is the Hindu Goddess who annihilates evil; She represents power and change. As with most Tamil temples, the Sri Veerama Kaliamman Temple has a beautiful “Gopuram” (tower will ornate carving of Gods) at the entrance. The ceiling of the temple has beautiful paintings and sculptures of Indian Gods. The colorful outer roof of Sri Veerama Kaliamman Temple is packed with statues of Hindu Gods. The temple is closed from 12:30pm to 4:00pm and closes at 8:30pm. Sri VeeramaKaliamman Temple is located in the heart of Little India at the junction of Serangoon Road and Belilios Road.
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple
Presiding Deity: Lord Perumal, also known as Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple was built in 1855 at Serangoon Road, in the heart of Singapore’s Little India. Built in the Dravidian (South Indian) style of temple architecture, there is an impressive 20 meter tall, 5 layered “Gopuram” (tower) at the entrance depicting the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The Shri Srinivasa Perumal Temple is a gazetted National Monument of Singapore. The main Hindu festivals celebrated at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple are Thaipusam, Vaikunda Ekathesi, Navarathiri and Purattasi Sani. The Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple is open from timing is 6:30 am to noon and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple
Presiding Deity: Lord Ganesha (Vinayagar, Vinayaka, Ganpati)
In the main prayer hall of the temple, there are 4 main granite pillars, each having 8 sculptures of Lord Vinayagar (Ganapati) in his different avatars. The entrance tower is golden 5-tiered, 68 feet high structure inspired by Chola temple architecture. The main Senpaga Vinayagar statue is 5 feet tall. Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple started in the 1850s after a statue of Lord Vinayagar (Lord Ganesh) was found. Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple is managed by Singapore Ceylon Tamils’ Association. Facilities at the temple include a Hall (“Kalaa Mandapam”) that can be used for events and marriages.
Sree Maha Mariamman Temple
Presiding Deity: Goddess Mari (a form of Durga)
Sree Maha Mariamman Temple has a distinctive golden roof with three domes/towers (“Vimanams”). The golden roof has statues of Goddess Sree Maha Mariamman in her 16 manifestations (16 “Akshara Sakthis”). The sculptures, statues and carvings throughout this temple are a visual delight. The gold painted roof also has statues of Lord Murugan and Lord Vinayagar. The ceiling is covered with beautiful carvings and murals. At the entrance of the 3 main sanctums of there are beautiful carvings of 16 Forms of Godess Mariamman, Sree Vinayagar and Sree Murugan. The perimeter wall of the temple has sculptures and carvings from the life of Lord Shiva.
Sri Krishnan Temple (Sri Krishna Bagawan Temple)
Presiding Deity: Lord Krishna and Rukmini
The Sri Krishnan Temple has beautiful statues and carvings both on the outside and the inside of the temple. As the name suggest, the Sri Krishna Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and his companion, Rukmini. The temple was founded in 1870, when a statue of Lord Krishna was placed under a banyan tree on Waterloo Street. Since the temple is located next to the traditional Chinese temple of Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, many Chinese worshippers come to light incense sticks at the Sri Krishna Temple. Taking this religious activity forward, the Shri Krishnan Temple has created an altar to Guanyin, the Buddhist/Chinese Goddess of Mercy. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) operates from this temple.
Sri Sivan Temple
Presiding Deity: Lord Shiva
Sri Shivan Temple has a unique octagonal design. Architectural hall marks of Sri Sivan Temple are the three beautifully carved spires. The main festivals celebrated at Sri Sivan Temple are Maha Shivaratri, Navratri, Guru Peryarchi and Skantha Shasti. Sri Sivan Temple timing is 6:00 am to noon and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Sri Sivan Temple was originally built at Potong Pasir in 1850. Since then it has moved to Dhoby Ghaut, then Serangoon Road (Little India) to finally Geylang East in 1993.
Sri Thendayuthapani Temple (Chettiars’ Temple)
Presiding Deity: Lord Subramaniam (Lord Muruga or Lord Murugan)
Sri Thendayuthapani Temple has a large 75 feet tall blue Gopuram (tower, also called Rajagopuram) at the entrance. The main deity of the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple is the six faced Lord Subramanian (Lord Murugan), the son of Lord Shiva and the brother of Lord Ganesh. The temple is also called the Subramaniam Temple and Chettiars’ Temple. Thaipusam, which is celebrated on the full moon day in January/February, is the main festival of Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. During Thaipusam, a chariot procession is taken out and some devotees pierce themselves with spikes. Other key festivals celebrated at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple are Letcha Archanai (for Meenakshi Amman and Durgai Amman), Navarathri, Skantha Shashti and Thiru Karthigai. Sri Thendayuthapani Temple was built in 1859 by the Nattukkottai Chettiar community. Nattukkottai Chettiars are a trading community from Tamil Nadu in South India. Adjacent to the temple is a Wedding Hall and a Dining Hall.
Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple
Presiding Deity: Godess Kali, Lord Vinyagar, Lord Murugan, Valli, Deivanai
The over one century old Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple has been relocated three times. It has been at Toa Payoh since 1986. Built in the Dravidian style of temple architecture, Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple has an imposing 4 layer “Gopuram” with a tall statue of Goddess Kali embedded in it. Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple is open from 7:00 am to noon and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple
Presiding Deity: Goddess Kali (KaliAmman means Mother Kali)
The Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple has an impressive blue Gopuram (layered tower with statues and carvings) at the entrance and a lovely gold and cream central prayer hall, where statutes of deities are kept. Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple has a large complex with a separate 4 storey annexure, which has 3 halls, including one for weddings. In addition to Kaliamman (Goddess Kali), other deities worshipped at the Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple are Sri Vinayagar, Sri Subramaniar, Sri Muneeswaran, Navagrahas, Sri Kaleeswarar, Sri Mangalambigai, Sri Dhakshinamoorthy, Sri Sandigeswarar and Sri Nandeeswarar.