SINGAPORE - The National Heritage Board (NHB) announced in a statement today that Sri Thendayuthapani Temple has been gazetted as Singapore's 67th national monument, in recognition of the contributions of the Chettiar community to national development.
The historic temple was established on April 4, 1859 by the Nattukottai Chettiars, who were traders, merchant bankers and financiers. It joins Sri Mariamman Temple and Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple as the third Hindu temple to be gazetted as a national monument.
NHB added that the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple is closely associated with the Chettiars' economic, cultural and religious activities. Financial transactions were carried out in the temple before the statue of Murugan and the Chettiars' Chamber of Commerce was also established within the temple's grounds in 1928. In addition, the temple has been organising Thaipusam celebrations for more than a century.
NHB also expounded on the temple's architectural merits. Sri Thendayuthapani Temple was designed in the South Indian style with modern elements. Its 5-tiered entrance tower is decorated with colourful idols handmade by Madras artisans. During the day, natural light streams through the 48 glass panels etched with images of Hindu deities in main prayer hall.
Ms Jean Wee, Director of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments division, NHB, said: "Sri Thendayuthapani Temple is the embodiment of the indelible contributions the Chettiar community has made to Singapore's economic development, as well as an architectural treasure in our urban cityscape. By according the Nattukottai Chettiars' Hindu temple the highest order of preservation status as a National Monument, we will hence be safeguarding it for its pivotal function as a place of worship as well as social space for the Indian community, and also ensuring that our built heritage is preserved sensitively in our multicultural society."