Sri Thendayuthapani Temple

Weather :

Time Required : Less than 1 hour

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Timings : 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, and 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Chettiar's Temple, Singapore Overview

Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, on Tank Road, is one of Singapore's most beautiful and vibrant temples. Completed in 1859, it is also one of the oldest. Since the temple was built by the Nattukkotai Chettiyar community, who were Shaivas or worshipers of Lord Shiva, the temple is also often called Chettiyar's Temple. It is constructed in Dravidian, or South Indian style of architecture, whose highlight is the colourful roof, or the gopuram. The interior of the temple is large and spacious. The pillars and a part of the ceilings are done in a beautiful golden colour. The magnificence, and vibrancy of the temple led it to be gazetted as a National Monument in October 2014.

Inside the Thendayuthapani Temple, the main sanctum houses the golden statue of Lord Murugan. Separate sanctums housing statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti, the parents of Lord Murugan, are also present. This grand edifice isn't the only gift the Chettiyars left for Singapore. They also introduced the festival of Thaipusam, held January, to Southeast Asia. On the day of Thaipusam, grand processions pass through the roads starting from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, on Serangoon Road, crossing several other Hindu temples, and finally ending at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. This procession is one-of-a-kind, and a must-see if you're in Singapore at the time. 

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Architecture of Sri Thendayuthapani Temple

Sri Thendayuthapani Temple features a five-tiered gopuram, bearing colourful statues of gods, goddesses, and intricate motifs.  A riot of colours, the Gopuram is distinctly visible from a distance and guides visitors to the temple from afar. The interior also houses typical Chettiar elements of architecture such as thinnais or raised platforms, built on either side of the entrance for guests to sit on, and glass panels lining the prayer hall or mandapam. 48 glass panels have been installed inside the temple which showcases different forms of Lord Shiva's dance of destruction, the Nataraja: the form of Lord Shiva as the Lord of dance, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Minakshi- the mother of Lord Murugan, and several other Hindi deities.

The temple has been restored and renovated from time to time, and now houses a Marriage hall with dining facility, separate staff quarters, a library, and a spacious and elaborate stage for cultural performances.

History and Heritage of Chettiar's Temple

Originally from Tamil Nadu, India, Nattukottai Chettiars were one of the first immigrants to arrive and settle in Singapore. As a part of their tradition, they built shrines dedicated to Lord Murugan wherever they settled throughout Southeast Asia. As a result, they established Sri Thendayuthapani in 1859 and around 60 years later, Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple, dedicated to Lord Murugan's brother, Lord Ganesha, in Singapore. Every Chettiyar donated something or the other for the construction of the temple.

It is said that the temple was constructed nearly 35 years after the arrival of the Chettiyars in Singapore. Before that, a spear had been installed beneath a Pipal tree, near a pond. The spear was worshipped because the weapon represented Lord Murugan.

Thaipusam

Sri Thendayuthapani Temple features a five-tiered gopuram, bearing colourful statues of gods, goddesses, and intricate motifs.  A riot of colours, the Gopuram is distinctly visible from a distance and guides visitors to the temple from afar. The interior also houses typical Chettiar elements of architecture such as thinnais or raised platforms, built on either side of the entrance for guests to sit on, and glass panels lining the prayer hall or mandapam. 48 glass panels have been installed inside the temple which showcases different forms of Lord Shiva's dance of destruction, the Nataraja: the form of Lord Shiva as the Lord of dance, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Minakshi- the mother of Lord Murugan, and several other Hindi deities.

The temple has been restored and renovated from time to time, and now houses a Marriage hall with dining facility, separate staff quarters, a library, and a spacious and elaborate stage for cultural performances.

Tips

  • Since it is a Hindu temple, please take off shoes before entering.
  • It is recommended to cover your shoulders and legs before entering the temple.
  • Photography with flash is not allowed inside the temple.

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