Hindu temple ritual as revamp is completed

Prayers being offered to the deities at the Arulmigu Velmurugan Gnana Muneeswarar Temple, which now boasts a fresh facade, upgraded facilities and a new multi-purpose hall after a year-long revamp.
Prayers being offered to the deities at the Arulmigu Velmurugan Gnana Muneeswarar Temple, which now boasts a fresh facade, upgraded facilities and a new multi-purpose hall after a year-long revamp.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

5,000 devotees attend consecration in Sengkang following $4m renovation

The Arulmigu Velmurugan Gnana Muneeswarar Temple in Sengkang held a consecration ceremony yesterday 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, 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."

Punggol East MP Charles Chong also attended the event.

With the renovation, the temple boasts a fresh facade, upgraded facilities and a new multi-purpose hall. It is the first Hindu temple in Singapore to have brought three 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 Singapore's rapid development in the late 1990s, when the small communal temples serving a specific locality or group had insufficient resources to meet growing needs.

Yesterday's consecration was the temple's second - its first one was when it opened in 2006. It was partially open during the revamp.

It works with 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 participate in each other's festivities.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2018, with the headline 'Hindu temple ritual as revamp is completed'. Print Edition | Subscribe