Monday, 8 September 2014

Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple

Now I've explored Little India many a time, I've been up and down Serangoon Rd more times that I can remember, but looking at Hindu temple images on the Internet I realised I'd missed one! It visually looks very different to the others, more angular, squarer than the others in some way, even though of course it is decorated with the normal pyramid shaped towers, covered with brightly coloured Hindu figures which make these temples so striking.  I'm thinking I must of always taken a side road just before it, to catch the public transport back home in the past, having entered the road from the other end.

Sri Vadaparhira Kaliamman Temple is situated at 555 Serangoon Road just a few metres from the junction with Balestier Rd (which in its own right has a plethora of temples and an interesting heritage trail which I visited a few months ago)

Now it's a very long time since I was at school sitting my O and A levels and although I had to learn about the Hindu gods I'm sorry to say I failed miserably and struggle to remember much about them, although more does seem to come back to me with such a large Hindu population and strong culture here in Singapore. 

To outline a very brief potted history of Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman, it was originally started in 1830 close to it's current location at the junction of Serangoon and Balestier roads by a female devotee. This position was due to the fact there were a number of wells there, so it grew in popularity as many people congregated at this spot. The main deity is Kali. Goddess Kali is also known as the Dark Mother, portrayed as black, a strong woman linked to destruction, change, but a passionate protecting mother. Her male partner was Shiva.

Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman

Anyway the Temple has gone through many restorations and expansions. In 1935 it was turned into a true temple by Rengasamy Mooriyar. 1945 it was expanded again by Kottavai Govindasamy. Another major restoration was started in 1982 which took 2 years to complete and finally in 2003 the latest expansion and renovation took place with the "new" temple consecrated on 23/01/2005. 

The inside was full of vibrancy with many devotees there, at mid morning when I visited, some appeared to be having lessons, whereas others were walking around the temple clockwise, stopping to pray at each deity on their travel around this temple. 

Looking into the deities it's stated that the ones here are
Sri Vinayagar (the elephant god)
Sri Ramar
Sri Periyachi Amman 
Sri Nageswari Amman 
Sri Muneeswarar
Sri Madurai Veeran
Sri Saneeswarar
Hanuman - the monkey god ......

However it did appear to me there were more but I could be mistaken....... 

Sri Nagewasri Amman. Note the naga or snake protecting him. The snake is an important creature in Hindu worship and was adopted by the Hindus from its on Naga worship.

Hanuman I believe
Sri Ramar

I'm glad I took this opportunity to visit this temple and I'm pretty confident that I haven't missed any others along Serangoon Road .... well hopefully not!

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