Serangoon Rd temple gets more shrines

Hindu deities Garuda and Hanuman on the facade of the Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman temple. Tomorrow's consecration ceremony will be led by 44 priests from India and 25 priests from Singapore.
Hindu deities Garuda and Hanuman on the facade of the Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman temple. Tomorrow's consecration ceremony will be led by 44 priests from India and 25 priests from Singapore.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

$2m refurbishment sees popular Sri Periyachi goddess repainted; consecration ceremony being held tomorrow

The Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman temple in Serangoon Road is popular with Hindus because of the Sri Periyachi deity.

Parents would visit the temple to place their newborn babies at the feet of the guardian goddess of children to receive her blessings.

Worshippers now have even more reasons to visit the temple after the completion of one year of refurbishment works.

Workers are putting the finishing touches to the approximately $2 million project in preparation for its consecration ceremony tomorrow.

The Sri Periyachi goddess was one of about 15 Hindu deities which were repaired and repainted with the aid of 15 craftsmen from South India.

Temple treasurer and trustee A. Dino Karan, 69, said apart from the repainted Sri Periyachi deity, devotees can look forward to the addition of shrines, including one dedicated to the deity Shiva - known to Hindus as the supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe.

Another new shrine is the Navagrahas - the gods of the nine planets who are believed to play a role in deciding the destiny of man.

Mr Dino said: "We added these gods to entice more devotees to come and worship at this historic site."

The temple's consecration ceremony is expected to attract between 10,000 and 12,000 people. Some 900 volunteers will be deployed for the event, which will be led by 44 priests from India and 25 priests from Singapore.

All Hindu temples undergo renovations and repairs every 12 years. On Sunday, the Sri Siva Durga temple in Potong Pasir held its consecration ceremony following a $2.7 million rebuilding effort.

The Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman temple traces its roots back to the 1830s, when a devotee placed a picture of the goddess Sri Periyachi Amman under a tree near the present-day site of the temple.

Temple secretary and trustee D. V. Balakrishnan, 67, said: "We're trying to ensure that believers, both young and old, can continue these customs and religious practices."

Worshipper Silvakumar U., a 58-year-old civil servant, said he is looking forward to the reopening. "The temple is a converging and meeting point for the community to pray. It's a space where we get to pray to more deities, which helps us connect with them."

Serangoon Road - from Kitchener Road to Lavender Street - will be closed from 7am till around noon tomorrow for the temple consecration.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2016, with the headline 'Serangoon Rd temple gets more shrines'. Print Edition | Subscribe