Indian shops in Singapore are concentrated in an area known as "Little India," and Serangoon Road has become familiar to tourists as the "street of temples." There are three temples on this road: Sri Veeramakaliamman, Sri Sreenivasa Perumaland the Sri Vadapathirakaliamman. The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple which was recently rebuilt held its Maha Kumbhabhishekam on February 8.
This temple is about 100 years old and was built by early Indian settlers who had come to live in a foreign land. They brought their religion and culture with them and warned to recreate in Singapore what they had been accustomed to back home. Recently, the temple was completely rebuilt at a cost of 2.5 million Singapore dollars. A prominent part of the new temple is the Rajagopuram or entrance tower, an important feature of South Indian temples.
The presiding deity of the temple is Veeramakaliamman, one of the forms of Kali, who protects the virtuous and destroys the evil. Her presence provided early immigrants a sense of security in a new land. There are also 18 other deities in this Shakta temple including Sithi Vinayagar, Balasubramaniyar, Visalakshi and the Nuvagrahangal (the nine planets).
The first campaign to raise funds was launched in 1976, and it has taken ten years to complete the project. Mr. K. Selvakumar (31), son of the temple President, is credited with much of the organization and planning for temple construction and Kumbhabhishekam preparations. He whole-heartedly undertook the large and challenging task and the result was a beautiful temple, built in the traditional style, with detailed sculptural works. The statues, panels and freezes are something unique in the art of temple building in Singapore.
The Hindus of Singapore will enjoy this special place of worship. As for the tourists-they will not have to go far to study a Hindu temple, there is now one in the heart of "Little India."