Culture

12 Beautiful Hindu Temples In Singapore You Have To Visit At Least Once

Hindu temples in Singapore


Whenever my friends from abroad ask me to describe Singapore, I would always reply with:  garden city, concrete jungle, skyscrapers galore, hustlin’ culture. Apart from towering office buildings and HDBs, Singapore has many beautiful places of worship as well, with Hindu temples being one of them as well. 

Sometimes, we get so caught up in the grind that we fail to appreciate the other aspect of Singapore’s identity, namely a melting pot of different races, cultures, and religions. One way to find out more about the rich history and culture of other religious groups is to visit their places of worship. Here is a list of 12 Hindu temples in Singapore to visit, be it to immerse yourself in culture or simply to admire their beautiful architecture.


1. Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple – Dravidian architecture



Different manifestations of Lord Vishnu.
Image adapted from: @iammikelacroix via Instagram

If you’ve celebrated Thaipusam before, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple would sound familiar to you as it is the starting point of the Thaipusam procession, where devotees or kavadi carriers walk a route of 3-4km barefooted. Some of you might know it as one of our proud national monuments as well. 

 

The temple was incepted in the late 1800s when prominent community leaders at the time came together and thought of building a Hindu temple dedicated to Vaishnavite worship. Vaishnavite worshippers, commonly referred to as Vaishnavas, centre their worship around Lord Vishnu and his 10 incarnations – regarding him as the supreme being in Hinduism. 


Image credit: @iammikelacroix via Instagram

When visiting the temple, take a closer look at the 20m 5-tired gopuram that is adorned with detailed carvings and sculptures of Vishnu in his different forms. For those who aren’t familiar, a gopuram refers to the tower atop a Hindu temple’s entrance. 

The temple also has a Dravidian architectural style dedicated to Krishna – the god of compassion and love, and the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. 

Address: 397 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218123
Opening hours: Sun-Fri 5.30am-12.00pm & 5.30pm-9.00pm (Closed on Saturdays)
Contact:  6298 5771


2. Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple – Large figures of deities



Image credit: Vlad Manea 

Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple is pretty unique in the sense that although it has a smaller gopuram, it sports larger statutes of its deities. The carved figures guarding the front entrance are also larger than those found in most temples. 

This temple is dedicated to the goddess Kali (also known as “Kaliamman”) – the Hindu goddess of death and destruction. She is also seen as a protector against evil and known as a guardian to many. The goddess is represented with blue skin and as such, the temple is covered in a dark shade of teal.


Image credit: @soma.sunder.319 via Instagram

One of the avatars of the Kali is Periyachi Amman – known as the protector of children and expectant mothers. Hence, you would often see expectant mothers visiting the temple on Tuesdays and Fridays to pray for protection and blessings.

In Hinduism, each day of the week is dedicated to select gods or goddesses. In this case, Tuesdays are dedicated to Kali, and Hindus believe that worshipping her on Fridays is also highly auspicious. 

The temple’s history started in 1830 when a female believer placed a picture of Kali under a banyan tree that was situated somewhere near the current temple. More and more people came by to pray and eventually, a proper temple was built in 1935.

Address: 555 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218174
Opening hours: 7.30am-11.30pm & 6.30pm-8.30pm, Daily
Contact: 6298 5053


3. Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple – A refuge during WW2



Image credit: Roots 

The design of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is a classic showcase of South Indian architecture, with brightly-coloured sculptures of Hindu deities and figures decorating its gopuram. 


Image credit: Tahlia Curry-Fernando 

Like Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is also dedicated to the Goddess Kali. It is also one of the oldest temples in Singapore and remained unscathed in the midst of the bombings that took place during the WW2, serving as a place of refuge to many at the time. 

Address: 141 Serangoon Road Singapore 218042
Opening hours: 5.30am-12pm & 5.00am-9.00pm, Daily
Contact: 6295 4538 | 6293 4634


4. Sri Thendayuthapani Temple –  5-tier gopuram over 20m tall


Image credit: Choo Yut Shing via Flickr

Gopurams are usually awe-inspiring in terms of colour and intricacy. Sri Thendayuthapani Temple kicks things up a notch as it’s fronted by a gopuram that’s close to 23m tall. To help you visualise better, that’s the height of close to 6 HDB storeys.

Not only does the gopuram feature multi-coloured carvings of figures from Hindu mythology, the temple’s pillars are embellished with small mythological figures as well.


Image credit: @thehopsnessmonster via Instagram

Back in 1859, the temple was founded by a Tamil community, Nattukkottai Chettiars, who believed in Shaivism – the worship of Shiva as the supreme being, god of destruction, and creation. The architectural style is largely South Indian-influenced, and undoubtedly a driving factor for the temple to be recently gazetted as a national monument. 

Note: Sri Thendayuthapani Temple is currently undergoing renovation works till further notice. For updates before visiting, do contact the temple office.

Address: 15 Tank Road, Singapore 238065
Opening hours: 7am-12pm & 5.30pm-8.30pm, Daily
Contact: 6737 9393 


5. Sri Sivan Temple – Octagonal-shaped architecture


Unlike other Hindu temples which mostly feature closed-off interiors, Sri Sivan Temple adopts an open concept. This temple sports a unique octagonal shape, and is painted light cream which brings about a sense of peace and tranquillity.


The temple is a work of art by artists and architects from all around India who practise different Hindu traditions. Hence, what you see today is a harmonious blend of both North and South Indian architectural styles, and religious designs that are rich in culture and heritage. 

Address: 24 Geylang East Avenue 2, Singapore 389752
Opening hours: 6.00am-12.00pm & 5.30pm-9.00pm, Daily
Contact: 6743 4566


6. Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple – Architecture from Chola dynasty



Image credit: @mikebkk1a via Instagram

Whether you’re Hindu or not, you’d likely recognise the elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha – also known as Vinayagar. Lord Ganesha is the son of Shiva, and is known as the remover of obstacles and symbolism of wisdom. 

Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple is not only the 2nd oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, but also one of the most esteemed Ganesha temples around. In 1950, the Ceylonese Tamils discovered a statue of Lord Ganesha beside a pond under a Senpaga tree, hence the temple’s name today. 


Image credit: @dexarrius via Instagram

As compared to the other Hindu temples in Singapore which are bursting with all sorts of colours, you’ll find that Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple is slightly different as it is covered with shades of gold and grey. On top of that, the gold-coloured vimana – which is the name for the pyramidal tower covering the centre of the temple – is the largest you’ll find in Singapore.

Address: 19 Ceylon Road, Singapore 429613
Opening hours: 6.30am-12.00pm & 6.30pm-9.00pm, Daily
Contact: 6345 8176


7. Sri Mariamman Temple – Oldest Hindu temple in Singapore



Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

While strolling through the roads of Chinatown, you might catch a colourful and majestic sight at the corner of your eye. That’s Sri Mariamman Temple, dedicated to the goddess Mariamman – the Hindu goddess of rain and protector against sickness and disease. Fun fact: it was built in 1827, making it the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.  

The Sri Mariamman Temple started out as far more than just a temple, but also as a place of refuge for Indian immigrants. It provided food and shelter until refugees could find a place of their own and a job.


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

One can easily spot the temple from miles away because of its brightly painted and towering gopuram. It depicts deities and figures from Hindu mythology that are carved in intricate detail. 

Address: 244 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058793
Opening hours: 6am-12pm & 6pm-9pm, Daily
Contact: 6223 4064 


8. Sree Maha Mariamman Temple – Golden roofs



Image credit: Zhihai Ng via Google Maps

Located in Yishun, Sree Maha Mariamman Temple is a go-to for practising Hindus in the area. The most distinctive feature would be none other than its golden roof. Look closely, and you’d realise that the roof of the temple is embellished with the 16 avatars of the goddess Mariamman. On the inside, you’d find intricately carved figures on the ceilings and walls as well. 


Image credit: Sree Maha Mariamman Temple

The temple offers archanai, which are prayer offerings such as oil lamps and flower garlands, from an affordable rate of $5. For those who would like to devote prayers over a long-term period but may find it a struggle to swing by on the regular, you can opt for their more elaborate routine offerings which range from weekly ($200) to yearly ($1,001).

Address: 251 Yishun Avenue 3, Singapore 769061
Opening hours: 6.00am-12.00pm & 5.30pm-9.00pm, Daily
Contact: 6756 6374 


9. Sri Krishnan Temple – Designed according to ancient Hindu rules



Image credit: Shunda Lee via Facebook

When visiting Sri Krishnan Temple, you’ll be greeted by their long blue entrance and statues of Hanuman and Gardua – the Hindu monkey god of devotion and the carrier of Lord Vishnu respectively. The temple is embellished with the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu, and the top of the entrance showcases a wedding taking place. 


Image adapted from: Charan Shetty via Google Maps, Ram Devamsam via Google Maps

Unbeknownst to some, the temple was built according to the rules in Agama Shastra. This ancient scripture details everything related to deity worship in Hinduism – including the construction of the temples. 

Sri Krishnan Temple is also a testament to the multi-cultural and multi-religious harmony in Singapore, as Chinese devotees from the nearby Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple are often seen dropping by to pay their respects to Lord Krishna as well.

Address: 152 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187961
Opening hours: 8.00am-12.00pm & 6.00pm-8.45pm, Daily
Contact: 6337 7957


10. Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple – Statue within gopuram



Image credit: Roots

You wouldn’t necessarily think of the bustling town area when it comes to temples, but Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple actually used to be located somewhere along Orchard Road. It then relocated to Somerset Road for a period of time, before eventually settling in its Toa Payoh location today.

If you’re driving past Lorong Toa Payoh Road, you’ll notice a statue of Kaliamman standing right in the centre of the gopuram of this temple. Ngl, it’s quite a sight to behold.

 

Residents who have been around Toa Payoh long enough might have witnessed a chariot passing by before. Well, this is part of a Brahmotsavam – a festival which takes place yearly to honour Kali. 

Address: 2001 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, Singapore 319259
Opening hours: 7.30am-11.45pm & 6.30pm-8.45pm, Daily
Contact: 6259 5238


11. Arulmigu Velmurugan Gnanamuneeswarar Temple – Blend of modern & traditional architecture


Instead of bright vivid colours that you see on most Hindu temples, Arulmigu Velmurugan Gnanamuneeswarar Temple takes on a palette of pastel colours. 

The temple’s architecture reflects its location in the modern estate that is Sengkang. It veers away from traditional architectural facets like a pyramid roof, while still maintaining important aspects of a Hindu temples such as carvings and sculptures of deities.

It’s also the first Hindu temple in Singapore to house 3 different smaller temples within, namely Arulmigu Velmurugan Temple, Shri Krishna Bhagawan-Burga Parameswari Temple, and Sri Mariamman Muneeswarar. The temple also offers yoga, dance, and music classes, giving you more reason to swing by even if you’re not a practising devotee. 

Address: 50 Rivervale Crescent, Singapore 545029
Opening hours: 7.00am-12.00pm & 6.30pm-9.30pm, Daily
Contact: 6294 6739


12. Siddh Peeth Shree Lakshminarayan Temple – Non-ordinary facade



Image credit: Roots

You may have walked straight past this building without realising that it’s actually a Hindu temple, and we don’t blame you for it.

Opened in the mid-60s, Siddh Peeth Shree Lakshminarayan Temple is the first North Indian Hindu temple in Singapore and carries a North Indian architectural style within. From its exterior, you’d probably think it was a regular commercial complex.


Image credit: Malaveka Singh

The temple is dedicated to one of the forms of Lord Vishnu – Narayan – and his consort Lakshmi who is also the goddess of wealth.

Other than its blocky structure devoid of religious statues, the facade is also covered in white and red – believed to be an auspicious colour – along with geometric shapes. Geometry plays an important role in Hinduism as it serves to reflect and reinforce certain Hindu concepts and beliefs such as interconnectedness and God as the geometer of the world. 

Address: 5 Chander Road, Singapore 219528
Opening hours: 6am-12pm & 4pm-9.30pm, Daily
Contact: 6293 0195 


Visit these Hindu temples in Singapore

We live in a multi-cultural and multi-religious country where we manage to establish understanding and respect for each other. It’s always good to learn more about different cultures and religions, whether you’re a believer or not. 

Before visiting these Hindu temples in Singapore, do ensure that you are dressed appropriately – your shoulders and knees should be covered – and remember to remove your shoes before stepping into the temple. As a rule of thumb, it’s always good to read up on the specific rules and regulations of the temple you’re planning to visit before actually making a trip down.

For more heritage places to visit in Singapore:


Cover image adapted from: @deknya_piyadnya via Instagram, Roots

Gracelyn Lim

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