The Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s most ancient Hindu temple. It is an agamic temple, of Dravidian style at 244 South Bridge Road, in the downtown Chinatown area. The temple assists the greater part Hindu Singaporeans, Tamilians, in the city-state. Due to its structural and historic importance. The temple is a National Monument and is a major traveler interest. Sri Mariamman Temple is handle by the Hindu Endowments Board, a statutory board under the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.
The Sri Mariamman Temple built in 1827 by Naraina Pillai, eight years after the East India Company get a trading agreement in Singapore. Pillai, a government clerk from Penang come to Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles. They come on his second visit to the island in May 1819. Pillai went on to set up the island’s first engineering company, and also joined the textile trade.
The aim of the main prayer hall is the central shrine of Mariamman, which is flanked by the shrines of two secondary Gods, Rama and Murugan. The main prayer hall bound by a series of free-standing shrines, house in pavilion-like buildings with decorated dome roofs, known as Vimana. These are devoted to the following Gods: Durga, Ganesh, and Shiva.
The shrine to Draupadi is the second most significant in the temple, as she is central to the annual timiti or fire walking festival held in this temple. To the left of Draupadi are the five Pandavas from the Mahabharata epic – Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Sahadeva and Nakula. They are preside over by Lord Krishna. One more significant factor of the temple is the free-standing flagpole. A few days before main festivals or ritual ceremonies, a flag is raised here.
Once every 12 years, in maintaining with Hindu tradition, the temple reconsecrated. An annual fire walking festival is organised about a week before Deepavali, the Festival of Lights
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