When in the 1870s already a large community of Hindus had settled
in the area near Waterloo Street, Mr. Hanuman Beem Singh, feeling there
should be a spiritual presence and guidance for all the Hindus arriving
there, placed images of Sri Vigneshwarar and Sri Hanuman at the foot
of a banyan tree and converted it into a shrine. He performed regular
pujas (Hindu rituals) and, as the community grew, constructed a platform
for an image of Lord Krishna, the ninth incarnation of the god Vishnu.
His son, Mr. Humna Somapah, managed the temple from
1880 to 1904. He improved its structure by erecting a proper fence around
it. A priest from Kasi, India, was appointed to carry out the pujas
and ceremonies. In 1904, Mr. Humna Somapah entrusted the temple services
to his niece, Madam Joognee Ammal, who built a main shrine and the Vimanam
(temple dome). The MahaKumbabishegam or consecration ceremony was conducted
In 1935, Mr. V. Pakirisamy Pillai took over the administration.
The Mandapam (a room for meditating and praying) was built in front
of the shrine and consecrated in 1959. Brahmin priests conducted prayers
and ceremonies from 1935 to 1989. Since 1984, temple affairs have been
entrusted to Mr. Pillai's son, Mr. P. Sivaraman, currently the trustee
of the Sri Krishnan Temple.
Major renovations were undertaken by Mr. Siva in 1987.
These included the building of the main entrance, a "gopuram"
(a tower with sculptured figures over the entrance), additional sanctums
for Sri Anjaneyar, Sri Vishnu Durgai, Sri Gumvayurappan, Sri Sudharshana,
Sri MahaLakshmi, as well as the Vasantha Mandapam (a prayer room for
the Vasanthosavam, the Spring Fest). A new priest and musicians were
brought in to perform the ceremonies. The consecration was conducted
on November 12, 1989.
An additional redevelopment and expansion phase followed
in 2001. This added behind the actual temple facilities a four-storey
ancillary block with multipurpose halls, where educational courses,
religious meetings, and cultural events are offered to a broad public.
With the consecration of the new building on November 24, 2002, a plaque
marking the temple an historic landmark was unveiled. One of the special
aspects of this Hindu temple is that numerous Chinese come here to pray,
after having prayed to their Taoist deities at the Kwan Im Thong Hood
Cho Temple, located on the same street.
(Based on information on the
website of the Hindu Endowments
Board of Singapore.)
152 Waterloo Street
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The Biennale event Encounters 04 with the blessing ceremony of the Singapore Biennale 2006 took place here on 1 December 2005.
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