Few tourist attractions/destinations are as awe-inspiring as the Sri Mariamman temple in Singapore. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore and a designated national monument.
The temple is at the center of Chinatown and boasts an ornate 6-tier “gopuram”, or entrance tower, that is carved into a pyramid shape. It is perhaps the best known and well-recognized gopuram, thanks to the brightly painted plaster figures that decorate it.
The sculptures, which represent Hindu gods and goddesses, are scaled to give the illusion that the tower is much bigger than it really is, making it look even more impressive. Inside the temple, the colors remain vibrant, and everything from the pillars to the ceilings is painted and decorated with religious images.
Mariamman is the temple goddess, a popular Hindu deity of rain and disease protection. The temple is dedicated to her and provides religious services for the community. The temple was founded in 1827, but the gopuram was not completed until 1925.
Singapore is very religiously diverse, and Chinatown, in particular, offers you the opportunity to view a variety of temples and mosques from different faiths. While visiting Sri Mariamman, be sure to check out the two nearby Buddhist temples, as well as the Jamae Mosque, another national monument.
Be mindful that this is a place of worship, and there may even be a ceremony taking place when you visit. Check the admission times, as they close in the afternoon.
Dress with your shoulders covered, and you will be asked to remove your shoes before entering. While admission is free, if you are planning to take photographs, the temple asks that you make a nominal donation.