Massive turnout at temple consecration

The rain posed little hindrance as some 50,000 devotees turned up for the consecration (Maha Kumbabhishekam) ceremony of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India.

In anticipation of the large crowd that was expected for the event on June 22, several lanes and roads in Little India were closed from 2am till 4pm that day.

The Maha Kumbabhishekam ceremony is held every 12 years and marks the rejuvenation of the temple.

Regarded as one of the oldest temples in Singapore, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple had been undergoing extensive restoration work for the last two years with a wedding hall and a spacious dining area among its new facilities.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, alongside Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew and Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua, graced the event as special guests.

"Though most of them who turned up for today's event are Hindus, people from other races are also here to witness the ceremony proceedings. I would like to emphasise that the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple serves as an important community partner," said Mr Tharman.

A lot of preparation went into the ceremony with special arrangements made for the elderly and wheelchair-bound. Hundreds of volunteers deployed at the event helped in crowd control, ushering, catering and other activities.

"It was a good initiative to allow the elderly to view the ceremony proceedings from their allocated seats. Light snacks were also distributed to the devotees in the midst of the ceremony," said retired teacher Ramachandran, 68, who attended the event.

Mr Lui praised the efforts of the temple management committee for working closely with the stakeholders to ensure that the event was organised properly.

"We anticipated that at least 50,000 would turn up for the event so we decided to close Serangoon Road for this important occasion," he said.

He added that the presence of other races in the event is a good indication of how people of various religious backgrounds can live harmoniously together in a country.

Those who could not attend the event were able to watch the live feed of the ceremony proceedings at the temple's official website.

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