Located in the middle of Singapore’s Chinatown sits the country’s oldest and most popular Hindu temples. Built in 1827, the Sri Mariamman Temple resembles the colorful Dravidian style of the temples of South India, and many of the temple’s worshippers are South Indian immigrants and their families.
The ornamental entrance tower of the temple, covered in colorful sculptures of deities and mythological beings, has become one of Singapore’s most recognizable landmarks. Within, you’ll find a main shrine area dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, a member of the Hindu pantheon known as a healer. Freestanding shrines surrounding the main prayer hall display statues of many secondary deities.
Admission to the temple is free, but if you plan to take photographs, you may be asked to provide a small “donation,” though this isn’t always enforced. If you visit the temple in late fall, you might get lucky and catch the annual fire walking ceremony, one of many festivals and events hosted by the temple throughout the year.