SINGAPORE - The Arulmigu Velmurugan Gnana Muneeswarar Temple in Sengkang held a consecration ceremony on Sunday (March 4) to mark the completion of a year-long, $4 million revamp the day before.
Some 5,000 devotees attended the ceremony, also called Kumbabishegam - a Hindu temple ritual that homogenises, synergises and unites the mystic powers of the temple and its deities. It is widely celebrated as a festival among temples of the South Indian tradition.
Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam, who was the guest of honour at the ceremony, said the three neighbouring Chinese temples also pitched in for the ceremony, with volunteers distributing food to devotees, making it "very multicultural".
"So you have many Hindu as well as non-Hindu volunteers coming together; it's very nice to see," he added.
Punggol East MP Charles Chong also attended the event.
With the renovation, the temple now boasts a fresh facade, upgraded facilities and a new multi-purpose hall.
It is the first Hindu temple in Singapore to have brought three Hindu temples under one roof - the Arulmigu Velmurugan Temple, Sri Krishna Bhagwan Durga Parameswari Devasthanam and Sri Mariamman Muneeswarar Temple.
The move was brought about by the rapid development of Singapore in the late 90s, when the small communal temples serving a specific locality or group had insufficient resources to meet devotees' growing needs.
Sunday's consecration was the temple's second - its first one was held when it opened in 2006. The temple remained partially open during the revamp.
It works with the neighbouring Chinese temples - Chong Ghee Temple, Kampong Tengah Thian Hou Keng Temple and Chong Hua Tong Tou Teck Hwee Temple - for community activities and devotees also participate in each other's religious festivities.
For example, during Thaipusam and Panguni Uthiram (celebrating the twelfth and last month in Tamil calendar), the religious procession starts at the Chong Ghee Temple, whose devotees also join in the festival.
The three Chinese temples also bring gift platters to the temple each year on the anniversary of its consecration ceremony.