$7 million makeover

The anticipation is growing. And a huge crowd is expected in Little India on Sunday.

The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is expected to draw some 50,000 devotees after an extensive $7 million makeover that began in August 2012.

Its last consecration was in 2000.

Built in 1855, the temple in the heart of Little India is one of the oldest temples here and one of the 75 places proposed for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

The temple secretary, Mr Selvakumar, 59, told The New Paper that the changes are necessary with the advent of globalisation and a growing congregation.

"We brought in 12 craftsmen from Tamil Nadu to repaint and restore 640 statues and deities. The other restoration works are done by local contractors," he said.


The main sanctum area will be air-conditioned so devotees can pray in comfort.

It also has features to aid the disabled, like the $45,000 mechanical platform to help those on wheelchairs get to the lift lobby.

The new six-storey annexe building in the temple compound includes a new air-conditioned wedding hall that can hold up to 350 people.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be the guest of honour at the consecration ceremony. Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew and Central CDC mayor Denise Phua have also been invited.

Mr Murugesan Pillay, 26, who has been frequenting the temple for the past 12 years, said: "I am excited to see the new paintings in the temple. It's going to make the place more vibrant and colourful.

"The temple is always packed and with the new building, I can see more people enjoying the place in comfort."


This Sunday, several roads and lanes will be closed in view of Sri Veeramakaliamman temple's consecration ceremony. Traffic disruption is expected to be moderate to heavy.

Traffic delays are expected along Bukit Timah Road, Rochor Canal Road, Selegie Road, Prinsep Street, Bras Basah Road and Orchard Road. Motorists are advised to plan their routes and avoid these areas, said the police.

Parking restrictions along the peripheral roads and lanes will be strictly enforced. Vehicles that are parked indiscriminately and causing obstruction will be towed away.

For more information, call the organiser at 6341-7155.


This article was first published on June 20, 2014.
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