Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, also known as the Chettiars’ Temple, is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore. The temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan, who is also known by other names like Sri Subramaniya and Sri Thendayuthapani. This temple is a proof to the contributions made by the people from the Chettiar community in Singapore to the colonial economy.
About The Temple
Sri Thendayuthapani Temple was initially constructed as a private temple catering to the spirituals needs of the people from Chettiar community, but gradually began admitting other Hindus over the years. Somewhere during the 1970s, the temple management committee decided to rebuild the Thendayuthapani Temple. The Chettiar community in Singapore contributed around S$3.3 million towards rebuilding the temple. On 24 November 1983, the temple was consecrated, in the presence of eminent personalities including the former President of Singapore Mr C. V. Devan Nair, Mrs Devan Nair, and other Members of the Singapore Parliament.
Sri Thendayuthapani temple at Singapore follows the South Indian style of temple architecture and has a five-tiered Raja gopuram (entrance tower). This Rajagopuram is regarded as the tallest temple tower in Southeast Asia. The gopuram enables the devotees to see the temple, even from far away. The Gopuram is brilliantly crafted with statues of many Hindu Gods and goddesses.
The temple has several attributes that typically reflects the architectural style of the Chettiars, like the thinnais (raised platforms) at the threshold and the glass panels lining the clerestory of the mandapam (prayer hall). Thinnais are generally found on both sides of the main entrances of most Chettiar homes, serving as a sit out area for the visitors. Glass panels in Chettiar temples are mostly engraved with images of Hindu deities. This temple of Lord Muruga houses about 48 glass panels showcasing various images of Lord Shiva’s (Natraja) mystical dance, Lord Ganesha and other Hindu Gods.
The temple was renovated once again in the late 2000s as per traditional Hindu Sastras. It was re-consecrated on 27 November 2009.
About The Deity
Lord Muruga is the principal deity of this shrine while the other deities who graces here includes Lord Shiva, Parvati and Lord Ganesha. Idumban (a sub deity who is generally worshipped by people carrying Kavadi), Nandi Deva and the Navagrahas, also grace from within this temple complex.
Legend and Stories
In the year 1859, people from the Chettiar community established Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at the Tank Road. After about 60 years, in 1925, they built Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple on Keong Saik Road in Chinatown. Presently both these temples are managed by the Chettiars’ Temple Society.
Although Sri Thendayuthapani Temple was mainly a religious institution, it also served as a social and commercial centre for Chettiars. Most business establishments run by Chettiars in Singapore voluntarily contributed donations for the temple. The Nattukottai Chettiars’ Chamber of Commerce was also established within the temple grounds in 1928. During olden days, transactions were carried out in front of the Lord’s vigraha, seeking his divine blessings and also counting him as a witness to the trading done.
Thaipusam, the birthday of Lord Muruga is the major festival celebrated in Sri Thandayudhapani temple by Tamil Hindus, especially by the people of Chettiar community. Lord Murugan symbolizes youth, power, and wisdom. The deity is considered the clan deity of the Chettiars and is fondly called the “Tamil Kadavul” or the patron of the Tamils.
The Thaipusam festival which is celebrated every year is the most important festival. On this occasion, the vigraha of Lord Muruga is placed on a silver chariot and is ceremoniously taken on a procession to Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple and back in the evening. This grand procession is called the Punar Pusam or Chetty Pusam. A large number of devotees, particularly the Chettiars participate in this procession.
Devotees also come on a procession from the Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Serangoon Road to this Thandayuthapani temple which is about three kilometres apart. Few men also carry the kavadis (ornately decorated steel structures) as a mark of paying their respects to the Lord for granting their prayers. The Kavadis are usually decorated with peacock feathers, which are believed to be the divine vahana (vehicle) of Lord Muruga. Some devotees hold paal kudams (milk pots) on their headand offer them to the Lord for abhisheka. This spectacular procession ends at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. Prior to the Second World War, fireworks display took place at Padang during the end of the festival every year.
8:00 AM - Abhishegam
8:10 AM - Prayers - Kalasanthi Aarathi
12:00 noon - Closing
4:30 PM - Abhishegam
5:30 PM - Sayalatchai Aarathi
8:30 PM - Arthasamam Aarathi
How To Reach Singapore
Changi Airport at Singapore is one of the busiest airports of the world connecting several international destinations with Singapore on a regular basis.
Singapore is well connected to its neighboring country Malaysia by rail. It also has trains to Bangkok (Thailand). There are three trains per day, including a sleeper. Trains depart from and arrive at the Tanjong Pagar MRT station Singapore.
Singapore has two causeways that connect the island to Malaysia and the mainland of Asia. There are regular bus services from 5 am to midnight. Buses are operated by SBS and Causeway Link, with the latter being significantly faster.
Sri Thendayuthapani Temple / Chettiars’ Temple
15 Tank Rd, Singapore,
Pincode - 238065.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Forgiveness for past deeds
- Neutralize the malefic effects of Mars
- Good Health
Shadaananam Chandana Liptha Gathram Mahorasam Divya Mayoora Vaahanam Rudrasya Soonum Suraloka Naatham Brahmanya Devam Charanam Prapadye
Meaning -I always take refuge in the 6 faced Lord Guha, who has sandal paste smeared over his body, who is broad-chested, whose vehicle is the peacock, who is Lord Shiva's son and who leads the army of the Devas.
Heyswami Natha Karunakara Dheenabandho Shree Parvatheesha Mukha Pankaja Padmabandho Shree Saadhi Devagana Poojitha Padha Padma Vallesa Nadha Mama Dehi Karaavalambham
Meaning -O! Merciful Lord Swaminatha, who cares for the poor, who is the sun to Lord Shiva's lotus face, whose lotus feet are acknowledged by Lord Vishnu and the others, Valli's Lord, please uplift me by lending me your hand.
Ariru Thadanthozh Vazhga Arumugam Vazhga Veppai Kooru Sei Thanivel Vazhga Kukkudum Vazhga Sevvel Yeriya Magnai Vazhga Aanai Thun Anangu Vazhga Maarila Valli Vazhga Vazhga Seer Adiyar Yellam
Meaning -Oh Muruga, we hail your 12 strong shoulders for they protect us from our enemies, we hail your 6 faces, we hail the Vel, your weapon that broke apart the Krounja mountain to reveal the asura in it. We hail the bird, the cock, that is part of your symbol in the flag. We hail your peacock, that takes you all over the world, we hail your consort Devyani, who was brought up by Indra's white elephant, Airavadam, we hail your other consort, the flawless Valli. And we hail your Bhaktas who worship you as a prayer.
Uruvai Aruvai Uladhai Iladhai Maruvai Malarai Maniyai Oliyai Karuvai Uyirai Gadhiyai Vidhiyai Guruvai Varuvai Arulvai Guhaney
Meaning -O Lord Muruga, you have form and you are formless, you have everything and have nothing, you who exist in the smallest, in flowers, in a bell's ring, in the light. You are the embryo, the life, destiny and fate. Bestow your blessings on us as our guru.
8.00Am to 12.00Noon5.30Pm to 8.30Pm