Singapore, Singapore ~ 1843
The Sri Mariamman temple was constructed in 1827, making it almost as old as Singapore itself. The main architect was Narayana Pillay, a government clerk, and "the first successful Indian businessman." This shrine is Singapore's "oldest and most important Hindu temple" (Sri Temple). The initial structure included wood and attap, but the bricks that are now present were laid around 1843. Also that year the temple was dedicated to the mother goddess Devi, and goddess Amman "who is worshiped for her power to cure disease" (Sri Mariamman Temple). This was important to Singapore's civilians because they are exposed to various diseases and infections due to the fact that the country is mostly jungle.
The entire temple is elaborately decorated. "Its doors are bedecked with bells, frescoes adorn the ceiling, a profusion of deities are carved all over its walls, and there is an ethereal gallery of paintings and shrines honoring the two goddesses" (Sri Temple). The most extraordinary feature of this temple is its "impressive tower over the main entrance" which is decorated with various Hindu divinities. In 1916 a covered walkway was assemble to connect the temple to the gopuram, or entrance tower, and the outer brick structure was rebuilt in 1963. (Sri Mariamman Temple)
Although it did play a critical part in Singaporeís history, this temple is not just a historical landmark located in the heart of Chinatown. "During colonial times, it served as a first refuge for new arrivals until they found work or a place of their own to stay," and presently, Sri Mariamman is a "place of worship where the community can gather to praise and pray to their gods." Itís so highly respected that Temple Street and Pagoda Street have been named after it. This temple has been through much yet still stands today. It will remain a significant construction in Singapore because it is used heavily for community events such as Thimithi, the fire-walking festival, and weddings. (Hinduism)