Chettiar Temple, also known as Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, is arguably the most important Hindu temple for Singapore’s sizable South Indian community. Built in 1859, the temple honors Lord Subramaniam, the son of Shiva and god of war and victory.
The temple’s South Indian origins are easily recognizable when you see the ornate monumental tower entrance, called a gopuram. This 75-foot (23-meter) tall temple entrance is covered in brightly painted carvings depicting several deities of the Hindu pantheon alongside scenes from Indian folklore and mythology.
Each January or February, during the full moon of the Tamil month of Thai, Chettiar Temple hosts the Thaipusam festival. On this day, worshippers of Subramaniam shave their heads and make a pilgrimage to the temple carrying various offerings and often flaunting intricate piercings or skewers through the skin all over their bodies -- a symbol of their dedication.
Routes to take by transit: Walking distance from Subway: CC, NE, NS (at Doby Ghaut station).