The garden city of Singapore is a major multicultural hub of the Asian continent. You will find people from different cultures who follow different religion and practice different rites and rituals from all over the world in this country. The many temples in Singapore, dedicated to various Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, etc. are a testimony to this.
The temples in Singapore not only serve their usual religious purposes but also act as an important site for celebrations during communal festivals. Some of them are even considered top tourist attractions in Singapore and hence are often included in Singapore tour packages, for travelers to witness and soak up in the rich cultural heritage of the country.
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Before you apply for your Singapore visa online, read about the cultural importance of several temples in Singapore.
1. Sri Mariamman Temple
Dedicated to Goddess Mariamman, this is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. Built in classic Dravidian style, its monumental entrance tower – the gopuram, attracts tourists and regulars alike with its stunning display of statues retelling mythical tales from the Hindu mythology. It was even added to the list of national monuments of Singapore by the authorities due to its architectural and historical importance. The best time to visit this temple is a week before Diwali, when the annual “Timiti” or “fire walking ceremony” is performed by the believers to please the goddess and every 12 years, when the temple is re-sanctified.
2. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
One of the most famous Buddhist temples in Singapore and the world, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple also has a museum which holds important artefacts related to the history and are sacred to the followers of Buddhism. The most important aspect of this temple is the tooth of the Buddha which is housed in the gold Stupa of the temple. The Pagoda of the temple, built in traditional Chinese Buddhist architectural style has a giant prayer wheel where visitors can make their wishes.
3. Sri Sivan Temple
For the followers of Hinduism and worshipers of Lord Shiva (Shivaism), the Sri Sivan Temple is the most revered out of all temples in Singapore. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is a beautiful fusion of North and South Indian styles of construction. The temple is buzzing with activity throughout the day but during the holy festival of Mahashivratri, it simply looks out of this world. Twice a month you can enjoy a feast in the temple after Prathosam which is considered a highly auspicious time to worship Lord Shiva.
4. Thian Hock Keng Temple
Thian Hock Keng or the Tianfu Temple, which literally translates to the “Palace of Heavenly Happiness” is the oldest amongst all Hokkien temples in Singapore and holds great importance for Hokkien people in the country. Built in the traditional Chinese style, Tianfu temple is dedicated to Chinese sea goddess Ma Zu Po. It is in the list of places in Singapore that are considered a national monument. It is one of the most tranquil and peaceful places in Singapore that is visited by the locals and tourists alike to experience the much needed peace of mind.
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5. Siang Cho Keong Temple
Siang Cho Keong Temple or Zhi Yun Miao as it was previously known, was built in 1867 and is one of the most sacred Taoist temples in Singapore for the followers of Taoism. Built in traditional Hokkein style, it is one of the most underrated Chinese temples in the country. The temple houses various important deities such as the God of prosperity – Tua Pek Kong, Tua Pek Kong, Wu Jiang, etc. among several others. The best time to visit the temple is during the afternoon when the worshipers come to perform their rituals and offer their prayers.
6. Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is the most colourful Hindu temple in Singapore. Dedicated to Goddess Kali and located in the heart of Little India, this temple is built based on the South Indian style of architecture. Earlier in 1855 it was simply a small shrine devoted to the goddess and in 1881 it was turned into a grand temple by the Bengali labourers who migrated to Singapore in search of a better life.
7. Seng Wong Beo Temple
Located at Peak Seah Street, this is a truly a unique Temple in Singapore. This lavishly decorated Chinese Temple with green tiles and red lanterns is dedicated to Chinese City God. The Seng Wong Beo Temple is one of the few places where Buddhists and Taoists worship under the same roof. People often visit this Temple in large numbers to witness the ancient ritual of “ghost marriages” that takes place here.
Truly, Temples in Singapore are a proof that it is not just a modern cosmopolitan country. They are a marvelous reminder of the rich history of the nation and also serve as a hub of uniting people with different beliefs and following different religions.
If you are looking for relaxing opportunities in Singapore, make sure to include these temples in your Singapore itinerary and experience the multiple dimensions of this country.