Singapore.In the Hindu temple Sri Mariamman

While in Singapore, one can not visit Chinatown, as well as in Chinatown, it is impossible not to visit the Hindu temple Sri Mariamman Temple (Sri Mariamman Temple), located in the heart of old Chinatown.This is a special place on the Singapore map.Sri Mariamman Temple - the oldest Indian temple on the island, he was not much younger than the city itself.First, even the wooden building was built in 1827 originally from India Narayana Pillai (Narayana Pillay), who arrived in Singapore together with the founder of the city - Lord Stamford Raffles (Sir Stamford Raffles).

Narayana Pillai served in the East India Company, but after some time, organized their own business.Just based Singapore, young port at the intersection of the busiest trade routes, grew rapidly, which opens up new opportunities businessmen.Narayan Pillai quickly made a fortune by becoming the first on the island of brick manufacturer, the largest building contractor and trader of cotton products.In 1823 he bought land on which the te

mple was soon erected.

choice fell on this place due to the proximity of water sources, necessary for the fulfillment of the Hindu rituals.The present brick building was erected in 1843 by the Madras masters, but in the future, for more than a century, the temple repeatedly rebuilt and decorated, while in the 60s of the twentieth century has not acquired the current shape dating back to the traditional architecture of the Dravidian South India.

Goddess Mariamman, the goddess-mother, is very popular among the Indian population of Singapore and is considered a protector against diseases and epidemics, which were frequent in the past.She gives life, sustenance and protection, and, like other Indian gods appears in many guises and under different names: Devi, Shakti, Radzhesvari ...

In the temple you will find numerous frescoes, where Mother Amman embodied a formidable multi-armed goddess Kali, triumphs over evil.Cult Mariamman has about four thousand years, and is especially common in Dravidian regions of India where there is a large part of the Indian population of Singapore.

first thing you see when approaching the temple - five-tiered gate tower "gopuram" (gopuram), adorned with a variety of colorful sculptures of gods, goddesses and exotic creatures.

Sometime around until there were no new tall buildings, it could be seen from far away, and believers can perform the prayer at a distance.But today, to see the tower, you need to come closer.At the base of the tower - a large wooden gate leading into the temple.Above them you'll see a bunch of tropical fruits, symbolizing cleanliness and hospitality.

Before entering, ring the bell to alert the gods of his arrival.Leaving need to call again to "say goodbye" to the deities.They say that by this desire come true.

temple welcomes visitors who respect its rules and customs.Just outside the door you get into the room where the faithful perform ritual cleansing.Here the minister will remind you to take your shoes off.

From the gates and towers gopurams you will pass through a series of arcades with arches, painted with intricate frescoes, a massive door.For them the main altar, where the access is closed for visitors.The main space of the south Indian temple is a strange name for a Russian ear "mandapa".In its lateral galleries you will see colorful shapes the main Hindu gods in various incarnations.Believers to pray in front of them, sprinkle themselves with water.Between the columns mandapa one can see two open courtyard surrounded by walls and buildings with colorful figures ornate arches.On the walls of the temple - the numerous statues of sacred white cows, which, according to legend, goes Mariamman.

In October, hosts the annual celebration Timiti (Thimithi), perpetrated in honor of the goddess Draupadi (Draupadi).Draupadi - the main character of the ancient Indian epic "Mahabharata".According to legend, she has proven his loyalty and innocence, going barefoot on hot coals.In memory of this event, thousands of Indians come to the temple every year to repeat the feat of the goddess, purify and atone for sins.Number of spectators usually exceeds the number of participants in the ritual several times.

holiday begins at 2 pm at the other temple - Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple (Sri Srinivasa Perumal) in the area of ​​Little India, where a huge procession, led by a priest, to be the temple of Sri Mariamman Temple.There's a certain place in advance remove sod and prepare and fill the hole logs about three meters in length.Wood ignited, and when they are transformed into embers, the priest crosses the first hole and followed clad in yellow robes believers.They then pass through a container of goat milk powder and rub the feet of yellow tropical ginger - turmeric.As a result of the earth turns yellow.For men only allowed the ceremony.It is believed that the fire will not cause harm to those who observe fasting, refraining from worldly pleasures and strong in faith.To pass the test successfully, participants are carefully prepared, but it happens that a few believers among the thousands of getting burned.