Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, located in Chinatown area of Kuala Lumpur, is the oldest temple of Goddess Mariamman, the manifestation of Goddess Parvati and the oldest Hindu temple in the city.
The Mariamman Temple is beautifully crafted and designed in the Dravidian architecture, having a Raja Gopuram Tower at the entrance. It is a symbol of the divine power of God and the positivity of his place of worship especially for the Tamils who look upon Goddess Mariamman as their protector in an unknown land. Sri Mahamariamman Temple experiences a huge crowd especially during festivals of Diwali and Thaipusam in which there is a long procession to the Batu Caves carrying containers of milk to offer to Lord Muruga.
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Architecture of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
The temple is designed in Dravidian Architecture in pure South Indian style with different features in each part.
Gopuram Sri Mariamman Temple is built in a unique architectural design with a structure being similar to the body of a man, his head pointing towards the west and feet towards the east. The feet is showcased by a 75 feet tall tower at the entrance having sculptures of 228 Gods and Goddesses beautifully and finely crafted. It is 5-tiered tower with a gateway for each and the chief deity resides in the inner part of the only entrance which faces towards the east. Prayer Hall After the entrance is the main hall where the chief and other deities of the temple reside. It is in the form of a lying human body with head towards the west and feet towards the east, beautifully designed by mural paintings and frescos. The premise has a dome, ornamented and decorated precisely with garbagraham, the innermost sanctum where the idol of God resides, having its own roof and walls with the priest standing in front of it during the puja.
There are three shrines in the main temple along with four others of Lord Muruga and on his left; there is the shrine of Lord Ganesha. As Lord Ganesha is the one believed to remove obstacles, his idol is also present at the entrance. The prayer hall is set in its unique magnificence with the power of divinity spread all around with the pillars also having eight idols of Ashta Lakshmi.
Silver Chariot The Chariot found inside Sri Mahamariamma Temple of Kuala Lumpur is made of 350 kilograms of silver, decorated with 240 bells and costing around RM 350,000. It replaced the earlier used, wooden chariot in 1893 being a crucial part of the festivities of Thaipusam to carry Lord Muruga and his consorts to the Batu Caves.
Chief Deity The chief deity of the temple is the Goddess Mariamman mostly worshipped by the people of South India especially Tamils since the pre-vedic period continuing still in various rural and urban areas. She manifests the power and divinity of the Goddess Parvati being close to Goddess Durga. Believed to be the incarnation of Goddess Kali she protects all her worshippers also curing diseases like smallpox, chickenpox and others. Her idol resides in the innermost sanctum of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple of Kuala Lumpur with its own walls decorated in a divine look and stairs leading to her idol.
Best Time to Visit
The two most important festivals celebrated at Sri Mahamariamman Temple of Kuala Lumpur are Diwali and Thaipusam. Even though the temple is crowded during these festivals, it is one of the best time to experience the true grandeur of the temple.
Thaipusam is a scared celebration when there is a long procession, carrying the idol of Lord Muruga to the Batu Caves. As for offering, people carry containers of milk mostly using specially designed carriers known as ‘kavadi’. It is a huge procession after prayers, famous for the gathering every year.
The Diwali celebration is yet another interesting festivity with a lot of life and cheer. A long prayer combined with sermons, religious chants, and songs is carried out, applying red, yellow and white marks on forehead of each devotee present and praying with the whole temple being lit up by the oil lamps, decorated with flowers and lights.
Taking a picture within the premises is not allowed.
Decent dressing style should be followed while visiting the temple.
There are changes in the timings during festivities and there is a three to four-hour break in the afternoon.
Shoes need to be submitted outside at the shoe stall after paying some amount.
How to Reach Sri Mahamariamman Temple
LRT: Get down at the Pasar Seni LRT Station and then walk 50 metres along the Jalan Sultan. The temple is at a walkable distance.
To directly reach the temple, opt for a bus or a taxi.