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Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is a Hindu temple located in the middle of Little India in the southern part of Singapore. Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple at 141, Serangoon Road is one of the oldest temples in Singapore. Built by Indian pioneers who came to work and live here the temple was the first in the Serangoon area and became a focus of early Indian Social Cultural activities there. The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, a fierce embodiment of Shakti and the god Shiva's wife, Parvati. Kali has always been popular in Bengal, the birthplace of the labourers who built this temple in 1881.
The building is constructed in the style of South Indian Tamil temples common in Tamil Nadu as opposed to the style of Northeastern Indian Kali temples in Bengal, where Her worship is extremely widespread, but the style of temple construction differs considerably. The choice of Sri Veeramakaliamman as the chief deity of the temple is significant. Referred to as a powerful goddess and Destroyer of Evil, her presence answered an important need of the early migrants - the need to feel secure in a new land. It seems that in the early days worship at the temple began at a small shrine with carvings and inscriptions. From these beginnings, the temple was gradually built. According to one account, Hindu residents in the area helped to build the temple. According to a 1969 report by J.P.Milaret, Bengali workers were involved in the building of the early temple structures. However, there are no temple records which confirm this report.
From the temple's earliest days it was associated with the Indian workers. In the old days, the temple came to be known as the "Soonambu Kambam Kovil", that is, the temple at the lime village. This was because many Indians who attended the temple worked in lime kilns in the area. (Lime formed part of the mixture that was used for buildings in those days). Many of the devotees were daily-rated workers of the Singapore Municipality. By the end of the 19th century, there was daily worship and regular religious functions held at the temple. As the Indian population continued to grow, the temple was increasingly the focus of religious, social and other cultural activities. Initially, there was a part-time 'pujari' to officiate at the temple. By the turn of the century, the amount collected from temple services and charity-box collections made it possible to engage a full-time priest.
Conveniently located in a prime district, visitors to Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India can choose to board bus 23, 48, 56, 57, 64, 65, 66, 131, 139, 147, 166, 170, 1N+, 3N+, 5N+ or 6N+.
Nearest MRT stations to Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple are Little India MRT Station, Farrer Park MRT Station and Rochor MRT Station.
You may not know that Little India once had a racecourse, cattle herders and brick kilns. But while these places and people are gone, time stands still in pockets of this historic district. Olden-day trades sit next to newer businesses: flower-garland vendors, modern eateries, boutique hotels, as well as arts groups. In the 1840s, Europeans lived here mainly for the racecourse, where they met and mingled. When cattle trading took root, it became a mostly Indian trade as traders hired Indian migrant workers. Certain goods and services took off, and mosques and Hindu temples were built. Little India today is one of Singapore’s most vibrant districts. As you walk down Serangoon Road and neighbouring streets, explore their mix of Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches. Fill your tummy with South Indian vegetarian food, North Indian tandoori dishes and local fare like roti prata (round pancakes) and teh tarik (pulled tea in Malay). Try to spot the brewers ‘pull’ the hot milk tea—it’s amazing showmanship. Don’t forget to shop. The 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre offers everything from electronics to groceries, or take your pick from open-air Tekka Centre, goldsmith shops and sari stores. With its proximity to the city and a bohemian vibe, many artists also call Little India home. Do visit during Deepavali (usually October or November) and Pongal (mid-January)—the joyous celebrations are wonderful to observe.
The Santa Grand Hotel Little India is a value hotel right in the middle of Singapore’s Little India neighbourhood. All rooms come with clean and contemporary bathrooms and top-notch amenities like a flat-screen television, mini-fridges, and kettles. Budget travellers will appreciate the modern room digs and low prices at Santa Grand Hotel.