SINGAPORE - Built in 1855, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple - situated in the heart of Little India - is one of the oldest temples in Singapore.
The temple, which has been undergoing renovation at a cost of $7 million since August 2012, is holding its third consecration ceremony on June 22. The last consecration ceremony was in 2000.
The renovation took into account the needs of its devotees. For instance, the main sanctum area will be air-conditioned so that they can pray in a cool and comfortable environment. Sri Veeramakaliamman will be the first Hindu temple in Singapore to be air-conditioned.
On each storey of the annexe building, there are washrooms specifically designed for the physically challenged. A special mechanical platform has also been installed near the Sri Periyachi Amman sanctum to help wheelchair-bound devotees get into the lift lobby. The temple is the first Hindu temple to have such a feature. This special mechanical platform was imported from Switzerland and cost the temple $45,000.
All the tilework for the temple is made of granite. This includes the walls inside every sanctum. Anti-slip granite tiles have been placed along the pathway which devotees use to go around the main sanctum to offer prayers. This is to prevent devotees from slipping and falling during rainy days.
Structures like the rajagopuram (temple's main tower), sanctums and statues of deities have been repainted. And new facilities added.
One such facility is the new annexe building in the temple compound. At six storeys high, it houses several facilities including a new wedding hall. There are dining halls on the first and second storeys. The wedding hall is situated on the third storey. It can host about 350 guests and is fully air-conditioned just like the two dining halls. It can also be rented out for functions.
The temple management's office and meeting rooms are on the fourth storey. The temple staff will live in the rooms on the fifth storey. The sixth storey has multi-purpose rooms which can be used for yoga, bharatanatyam or devotional classes.