SINGAPORE - The Sri Thendayuthapani Temple's management expects more visitors, including Singaporeans and tourists, to flock to its sacred grounds after being gazetted as Singapore's 67th national monument on Monday.
The 15 Tank Road building is usually thronged by about 40,000 visitors and devotees during the annual festival of Thaipusam. Some 200 worshippers also swing by daily for prayers. The temple does not keep track of the number of tourists, but said that it is popular with Chinese and Korean travellers.
One key feature is its 23m high gopuram, or entrance tower, which has five tiers decorated with colourful idols such as Shiva, Vishnu, Brama and Ganesha. The gopuram is one of the tallest in Southeast Asia and the grandest in Singapore.
The temple also organises Walk-a-Jogs on the first Sunday of every month and provides Anna Thaanam or free food, on special occasions. The food is distributed to people of all ages and races.
It is expecting its devotees to stop by the temple from 7am on Wednesday, Deepavali, for prayers.
Honorary secretary N Shanmugam, 57, said the Chettiar temple - dedicated to the Hindu deity Murugan - welcomes all visitors.
Mr Shanmugam said: "We believe this (the gazette) will raise the temple's profile even further and make it more popular with tourists and locals. Visitors will also be able to experience the Chettiar culture, architecture and hospitality in one place."
In a Facebook post on Monday, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong who had officiated the temple's gazette ceremony, said he hopes more Singaporeans will discover and learn about the republic's national monuments as they are "special markers of our shared memories and history".
He said: "These (national monuments) are special markers of our shared memories and history. They are a vital part of our Singapore Story, having stood testament to our nation's journey through independence, survival, and progress."