Indian temples in Malaysia with stunning Hindu architecture

Temples are places of worship for Hindus all over the world. Apart from being the place where art and history thrives, they play a significant role in Hindu cultural identity.

In Malaysia, places of worship like these unique mosques and colourful Chinese temples attract tens of thousands of tourists each year. Apart from these, there are also some stunningly beautiful Hindu temples that add to the richness of Malaysia’s cultural diversity.

Here’s a list of 10 Indian temples in Malaysia with stunning Hindu architectural excellence worth a visit for your next trip.

1. Sri Shakti Devasthanam Temple, Bukit Rotan – all 51 forms of goddess Sakthi in one place

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Sri Sakthi Temple

Located at the outskirts of Kuala Selangor, in the small town Bukit Rotan, the Sri Shakti Devasthanam Temple is so majestic that you will be mesmerised by its beauty every single time you visit. The RM12 million project took four years to complete and it was opened to the public in 2013 after the consecration ceremony.

Malaysian Indian temple interior architecture
Image credit: Sri Sakthi Temple

This temple is certainly one of the finest in Malaysia due to its stunning architectural design. It is built using a rare and complex sculptural technique known as Thundu Pattirippu Pathroba Pathram from India. It has a five-tiered rajagopuram – the royal entrance tower – that stands 74 feet tall, possibly making it one of the tallest temple gopurams in Malaysia. 

Dedicated to the goddess Sakthi Maari Amman, this breathtaking monument is said to be the only place with all 51 forms of goddess Shakti carved along the temple’s internal corridor.

Malaysian Indian Temple interior architecture
Image credit: Sri Sakthi Temple

The main entrance of the temple has a sculptured granite frame that is said to weigh as much as 4 tonnes and is 18 feet tall. Overall, with the intense labour of approximately 1.2 million hours, 10 million bricks, 20,000 tonnes of steel bars, 1,500 cubic metres of concrete, 100 tonnes of granite and 25 tonnes of teakwood, the final piece was completed. 

Entry into the temple is free, however, taking photos or videos inside it is prohibited.

Address: Jalan Kuala Selangor, Bukit Rotan, 45700 Bukit Rotan, Selangor
Opening hours: 7AM-12PM & 7PM-9PM, Daily
Sri Shakti Devasthanam Temple website

2. Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands, Shah Alam – resembles the Meenakshi Amman temple in India 

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Marriott Bonvoy Tours & Activities

Mimicking the marvellous Meenakshi Amman temple in India, Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands is a must-visit if you are ever in Shah Alam, Selangor. 

The former is located in the historic city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, and is one of the largest temples in India. It has four main gopurams, each facing a different cardinal direction. Similarly, the latter possesses four five-tiered gopurams in every cardinal direction. 

Intricate details of Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Jivitha Saminathan

Famously known as the iCity temple, this architectural wonder is one of the few monuments that still carries the estate name “Midlands”, or Ladang Midlands, a former rubber plantation area where Indian inhabitants lived during the colonial era.

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: @vic_nash04  

Dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, the temple has a big statue of the goddess Meenakshi at the entrance and is now a popular destination for Hindu weddings due to its eye-catching designs and stunning artwork.

Intricate details of Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Marriott Bonvoy Tours & Activities

Address: Seksyen 7, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor
Opening hours: Daily
Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Facebook

3. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, Johor Bahru – Malaysia’s only glass temple

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: a a

It is not very often that we get to see a temple made of glass – and it comes as an even bigger surprise that the world’s first-ever glass temple, the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, is located on our shores.

Indian temple glass embellishments
Image credit: Neo Tean

This popular tourist attraction located in Johor Bahru has its name in the Malaysia Book of Records as the first and only glass temple in the nation, and it is said that at least 90% of the temple is embellished by a mosaic of 300,000 pieces of red, blue, yellow, green, purple and white glass. The intricate artwork makes the temple shine bright like a diamond, especially in the evenings.

Indian temple glass embellishments
Image credit: Neo Tean

One noteworthy fact about the temple is that it is fully air-conditioned. It contains 10 gold-finished sculptures and 10 white marble statues each standing at 120cm tall.

For those who are planning to visit a temple for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, this place is highly recommended and you should add it to your itinerary. It is believed that the inspiration to build a temple out of glass originated from the head priest or the Guru’s trip to Bangkok, where he was captivated by the glass artwork at the entrance of a temple.

Address: Jalan Tun Abdul Razak 1/1, Wadi Hana, 80300 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening hours: 7AM-10PM, Daily

4. Om Sri Maha Athi Nageswary Amman Temple, Puchong – with 354 snakes carvings

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Senthil Somasundaram

If you are looking to visit a temple that is both colourful and uniquely designed, then the Om Sri Maha Athi Nageswary Amman Temple located in Puchong, Selangor has to be on your list.

The temple is fairly new. It was founded in 2013 by Datuk K Rajan and officially consecrated in February 2016. It can be spotted from the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong expressway near Puchong Gateway.

Nageswary Amman Temple statues
Image credit: Parames waran

The temple has an eight-tiered multi-coloured gopuram built based on Dravidian-style architecture, with 354 snakes carved around the temple. It also has a 65-feet Shiva lingam in the centre, behind the main gopuram along with several giant seven-headed king cobra design pillars with different goddesses on them.

Indian temple interior view
Image credit: Kirubhen Kandasamy

The temple is dedicated to the snake goddess Nageswary. Devotees visit the temple to pray for various reasons including fertility, the curing of diseases, winning over negative thoughts and enemies, and to get rid of naga dosham – bad luck inherited from forefathers or caused by the Hindu planets Rahu and Ketu.

Address: 5, LDP, 47100 Puchong, Selangor
Opening hours: 7AM-9.30PM, Daily
Om Sri Maha Athi Nageswary Amman Temple Facebook

5. Sri Kandaswamy Temple, Brickfields – more than 100 years old

Kandaswamy Temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Visit KL

For more than a century, the Sri Kandaswamy Temple in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, has been a prominent site for the Jaffna Tamil community or Sri Lankan Tamils in Malaysia. Founded in 1902, this temple is one of the few that was built with Sri Lankan Tamil architecture.

The Kandaswamy Temple is also known as the Scott Road temple because it is located along Jalan Scott, which also has other Hindu temples that were relocated to give way for development projects. 

Kandaswamy Temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Sri Kandaswamy Temple, Brickfields

This temple also has a five-tier gopuram; however, the artwork is simply superb and one of a kind. The gopuram is accompanied by the six forms of the primary deity Kandaswamy, another name for Lord Murugan, on both sides.

This temple is said to be one of the most orthodox temples in Malaysia because the rituals are conducted by strictly following the rules of the Saiva Agama Scriptures – one of the major Hindu denominations or schools of thought. 

Address: Jalan Scott, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs 5.30AM-9PM,  Fri – Sun 5.30AM-9.30PM
Sri Kandaswamy Temple Website

6. Sri Marathandavar Aalayam, Maran – named after a tree

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Maladevi Elangkeeran

Unlike most temples that rely on the grand rajagopuram for visual appeal, the 120-year-old Sri Marathandavar Aalayam in Maran, Pahang, come with a unique roof and pillars built based on the Dravidian architecture. The hexagonal roof of the temple is symbolic of the number six, which is an auspicious digit for Lord Murugan who also goes by the name Arumugan or the Lord with six faces.

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Devi Vatchala

The primary deity of the temple, Lord Marathandavar, another form of Lord Murugan, got His special name from an old Banyan tree where his shrine was first worshipped by devotees. The word Marathandavar, which means deity of the tree, is a blend of the Tamil words maram which means tree and andavar which means lord. 

Indian temple interior design and architecture
The wishing tree
Image credit: Susan C

The banyan tree, which is over a hundred years old, was believed to have snapped in 2016. Prior to this period, the tree could be seen standing tall above the crown of the temple.

This temple is away from the city and it’s surrounded by forest and oil palm plantations. If you are planning to visit this temple, it is important to take note that the temple experiences flooding issues during the monsoon season. So, mid-year is an ideal time to visit.

Address: 100 km, Jalan Kuantan, Jerantut, 26500 Maran, Pahang
Opening hours: 5.30AM-7PM, Daily
Sri Marathandavar Aalayam Facebook

7. Sri Maha Sakthi Mohambigai Amman Temple, Kuala Lumpur – the success story behind Mid Valley Megamall

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Douglas MacKallor

In the megacity of Mid Valley lies a small temple next to one of the most famous shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur. The Sri Maha Sakthi Mohambigai Amman Temple is a century-old temple that’s thought to be the success story behind the Mid Valley Megamall.

Being a small temple, this hidden gem can be hard to spot from a distance and even when you are passing by the road it’s easy to miss. But once you figure out its location, this will be one of the temples you’ll keep wanting to visit to marvel at awe at the details of its interiors.

Indian temple interior design and architecture
Image credit: Satiya Seelan

From the outside, the temple may look simple, but when you step in, you will get to see how carefully each sculpture and wall is carved by the craftsmen. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Moogambigai who is the embodiment of the goddesses Parvathy – the consort of Lord Shiva, Lakshmi – the consort of Lord Vishnu and Saraswathy – the consort of Lord Brahma.

The intricate designs of the statues and the pillars along with the two guardians or boothangals at the entrance are the main attractions within the temple. 

Indian temple interior design and architecture
Image credit: Douglas MacKallor

Legend has it that in the early days when the developer was planning to build the Mid Valley Megamall, he had plans to get rid of this temple from Mid Valley City, as it is now called. But it is believed that on the day of the groundbreaking ceremony of the shopping mall, there was a power outage which was thought to be a punishment from the goddess Moogambigai for the ill-will of the developer. 

Realising his mistake, the mall developer was then said to have apologised to the goddess and promised to build a new temple next to the mall as you see it today. Locals also say that the Mid Valley Megamall is so successful because of the goddess’ blessings.

Address: Mid Valley Megamall, 75, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, 58000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 7AM-9PM, Daily
Sri Maha Sakthi Mohambigai Amman Temple Facebook

8. Sri Selva Vinayagar Temple, Prai – the golden temple of Penang

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Penang Hindu Endowments Board

Penang is home to countless Hindu holy sites. Among them, the Sri Selva Vinayagar Temple in Prai has become a place worth visiting for a number of reasons.

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Penang Hindu Endowments Board

The unique, double-storey temple with a complex-like structure, is dedicated to Lord Ganesha who is revered as the primary Hindu God. It was built as a wooden temple some 103 years ago and was maintained by the Prai railway and port labourers in the early days. The temple was then reconstructed in 1967 before undergoing several renovations in subsequent years.

Indian temple interior view
Image credit: S. Agilan

It is said that public road works and the building of an elevated bridge in the area resulted in the temple staying 5 feet below the road level, which led to other issues such as cracks on the ceiling and the Vimana – the structure above the inner sanctum and the lack of an access road at the main entrance.

Due to these reasons, the temple was then reconstructed to its present-day design with golden gopurams that are estimated to have cost RM3 million. This South Indian architecture has since garnered a lot of attention from people and it is one of the must-visit spots in Penang.

Address: Jalan Perai, Taman Inderawasih, 13600 Butterworth, Pulau Pinang
Opening hours: Daily

9. Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam, Kuala Lumpur – the oldest temple in KL

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: Boris A. Trivan

Founded in 1873 by the late K Thamboosamy Pillai, a prominent Indian community leader from the pre-independence years, the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam in Kuala Lumpur is a historic sight for Hindus in Malaysia.

It is the oldest Hindu temple in the capital city of our country and was built in a traditional South Indian architecture. The five-tier, 75-feet-high rajagopuram was intricately sculpted with 228 idols, making the main entrance one of the most attractive parts of the temple.

Indian temple interior design
Image credit: WenHong Zhuang

The Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam is also popular for the annual Silver Chariot procession for Thaipusam when Lord Murugan was given the powerful Vel, a spear, by his mother, goddess Parvathy to destroy the evil demon Soorapadman.

Indian temple in Malaysia
Image credit: holidify

The chariot carrying the statue of Lord Murugan departs this temple every year with the blessings of the goddess Mariamman and reaches Batu Caves with an elaborate celebration.

Address: Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Sun – Fri 6AM-8.30PM, Sat 6AM-9PM
Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Facebook

10. Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang – has more stairs than Batu Caves

Architecture of Indian Temple in Penang
Image credit: Sivanesan S

Most Malaysians are aware of the Batu Caves temple where annual Thaipusam celebrations take place on a massive scale. But up in the waterfall hills of Penang lies another famous temple also known for Thaipusam celebrations. 

The Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, also known as waterfall hill temple or Thanneer Malai among Hindus, is built with 14th and 15th-century architectural styles of the Chola and Pandya kingdoms in India.

Architecture of Indian Temple in Penang
Image credit: Arul Kumar Jambunathan

Costing up to RM10 million, the architectural excellence has a 70-feet-tall rajagopuram with seven tiers and to get to it, visitors and devotees have to climb up 513 steps of stairs, which is almost twice the number of steps of the stairs in Batu Caves – 272 steps. 

The temple is also the second-biggest focus point for the Thaipusam celebration in Malaysia after Batu Caves, and a golden chariot worth RM3 million can be spotted during the procession.

Indian Temple hilltop view
Image credit: Waterfall Hilltop Temple, Penang

The Balathandayuthapani Temple is also said to be the largest Murugan temple outside India and it is closely related to the six most sacred abodes of Lord Murugan in India. The consecration ceremony of the newly built temple took place in 2012 and was attended by state leaders, prominent Hindu priests from six main Murugan temples in South India, and chief priests of temples in Bali.

Address: Jalan Air Terjun 10350 George Town, Penang
Opening hours: 6AM-9PM, Daily
Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple Facebook

Indian temples in Malaysia with stunning architecture

Temples in Malaysia have always been a part of our country’s diverse cultural background. These 10 temples with their stunning architectural designs show the world what Malaysia is truly capable of. Apart from their historic and cultural significance, they are also a good starting point for anyone who wants to learn more about Hinduism and Indian cultures.

Other attractions in Malaysia:

Cover image adapted from: a a and Neo Tean

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