Flickr/Drriss & Marrionn
Singapore is among the most ethnically diverse places in the world, with multiple religions co-existing and prospering. Some of the best examples of this unity in diversity can be found in the stunning temples that reside here; some of which have been around for centuries. Here are the top five temples in Singapore you must visit!
(Pro Tip! Book an IHG hotel close to the temples you wish to visit. Dress modestly as a mark of respect while visiting any temple premise.)
1. Sri Mariamman Temple
The oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, the Sri Mariamman Temple, was built in 1827 and is located in Chinatown. Dedicated to Goddess Mariamman, protector from illness and disease, the temple also contains the shrine of Goddess Draupadi. Figurines of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Rama, Murugan and Goddess Durga, can be seen inside the temple.
The gopuram is adorned with delicate engravings and carvings of deities from Hindu mythology. The carvings are brightly colored, and the walls and ceilings are decorated with enchanting motifs and murals. Temple hours are 7 a.m. to noon and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
2. Sri Sivan Temple
The octagonal-shaped Sri Sivan Temple is an architecturally striking temple. This Shiva temple in Geylang portrays both North and South Indian style in its structure. The temple, one of the busiest in Singapore, sees peak footfall during Maha Shivratri as devotees flock to the temple to pour milk on the holy Shivalinga. The festival provides a unique spiritual experience, replete with cultural programs and sacred rituals. Temple hours are 6 a.m. to noon and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
3. Sri Krishnan Temple
This temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna and his consort, Goddess Rukmini, is special in its own unique way. It symbolizes religious harmony as it also houses an altar to Guanyin, the Buddhist/Chinese Goddess of Mercy. As the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is close by, its devotees visit to pay their respects to Lord Krishna as well. Founded in 1870, the temple is situated in Waterloo. It contains impressive statues and is built in South Indian style. Temple hours are 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
4. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Situated in Chinatown, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple was completed in 2007. It’s visually stunning, with Chinese Tang dynasty style architecture. The temple is dedicated to the Maitreya Buddha (the Compassionate One). The temple houses the tooth of the Buddha on the fourth floor, and the main temple on the ground floor. The building contains a museum, library, bookstore, rooftop garden and vegetarian restaurant.
5. Thian Hock Keng Temple
Thian Hock Keng Temple (Temple of Heavenly Happiness), located in Chinatown, is among the oldest and most revered Hokkien temples in Singapore. The temple was built in traditional South China architectural style, without nails, and completed in 1842. It contains intricate carvings, columns, stonework and pagodas. This temple was dedicated to Ma Zu, the Taoist Goddess of the Sea, and is today visited by followers of Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
Travel can be about a lot of things, whether it’s food, shopping, or the most unforgettable sights. Whenever you visit Singapore, make sure to visit these temples (and many more), and enjoy a trip down the spiritual lane as well!