Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

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Weather:

Time Required: 1-2 hours

Timings:

6:30 AM - 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Entry Fee:

No entry fee
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Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Singapore Overview

The Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple or Sri Perumal Temple is one among the oldest temples in temples of Singapore. Located in Little India, this shrine manifests different incarnations of Lord Vishnu. This massive complex dedicated to Vishnu dates back to 1855. However, the 20 meters tall Gopuram is a relatively recent addition, built at the cost of SGD 300,000. The temple has a five-tier Gopuram, which was a donation from P. Govindaswamy Pillai, one of the earliest Indian migrants. He was the one responsible for setting up general and confectionary stores in the vicinity of Little India. The former name of the temple was Sri Narasimha Perumal Temple. It celebrates major festivals like the Brahmotsavam, Vaikunda Ekathesi and Purattasi Sani.

The land on which the temple has been built was purchased from the East India Company in 1851. The main features of the original Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple was a large pond and the Mandapam (Main Hall). The devotees who came here used the pond as a holy cleansing ritual. It was later filled up in the 1920s due to hygienic reasons. To build this shrine, craftsmen from South India were summoned to handle the intricate ornamentation. Mr.Pillai is also responsible for building the wedding hall that later became synonymous with the temple. 

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The history of this opulent temple dates back to the 1800s when strong community leaders decided to construct a temple for the Vaishnavites in Singapore. The original temple structure remained unchanged until the early 1950s. In the year 1942, the Mohammedan Hindu Empowerment board of Singapore decided to reinstate the temple. The renovation was carried out in the 1960s when Mr.Pillai financed a considerable amount of work.

The present building along with Rajagopuram and the covered walkway was completed in 1966. This was when many elders and well-wishers advised of renaming the temple from Sri Narasimha to Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple. The temple went through financial constraints which hampered the construction of the Rajagopuram. However, due to Mr.Pillai's generous contribution, the Gopuram was later erected in late 1970's. In the year 1978, the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple was declared a National Monument by the Preservation of Monuments Board.

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple has a traditional South Indian style architecture which features a spectacular five-tier entrance tower called the Rajagopuram. It has a striking depiction of the different avatars of Vishnu and other Hindu deities while embracing the floral and abstract pattern. The Rajagopuram can only be seen from a distance due to its monumental height. This allows believers to offer prayers from afar even if they don't visit the temple premises.

The prayer hall (Mandapam) is decorated by the temple's attractive circular mandalas and elaborate relief carvings that symbolise the universe and nirvana. The statue of Srinivasa Perumal is enshrined in the main sanctum. It is where only the priests have the liberty to enter. On either side of the shrine are two figures of door deities known as Dwarapalakas. Right in front of the main entrance of the museum, different avatars of Vishnu are lined at the top of the walls. The sanctum houses shrines dedicated to other Hindu deities. The main sanctum is flanked by Vishnu's consorts, Lakshmi and Andal. This temple also honours Hanuman (Anjaneyar to Tamilians) and Ganesha. All of the sanctums are crowned with a grand Vimana, a highly decorated dome.

Located on Serangoon Road, Little India, the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple is easily accessible. It is a minute away from the bus stop and MRT Station. The buses that halt at the temple are 67, 857, NR6, 141, 21, 23, 64, 65, 66, 125, 130, 139 and 147. The MRT Station closest to the temple is the Farrer Park MRT Station. Exit G will have you reach the temple.

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