Slip off your shoes if you want to enter this South Indian testament to Singapore’s religious harmony, set near a turn on the pedestrian section of Waterloo St in downtown Singapore
A Hindu temple dedicated to Krishna and his consort Rukmini, Sri Krishnan Temple was established in 1870 a short walking distance from the heart of Singapore’s South Asian community in Little India. Hanuman Been Singh set up a shrine to Krishna beneath a banyan tree on Waterloo Street to cater to the Hindu population and with communities in both Little India and also to the east and south on Bras Basah Rd and Victoria Street, this was a good, central location.
As the congregation grew, so did the temple and in 1933 the main shrine and dome were completed by South Indian sculptures. From then through to the 1950s the site continued to grow with a further major expansion in 1987 which saw the construction of the ornate, colourful and photogenic entrance.
While the rooftop carvings of animals and gods aren’t as impressive as those at the Sri Mariamman Temple in Chinatown, this is a very compact site and so it is easier to get up close to the statues. The extra-large statues of Hanuman and Garuda guarding the entrance are also impressive.
A popular venue for Hindu weddings, the biggest annual event here is the celebration of Krishna’s birthday. The site is also often used to portray Singapore as a multi-cultural and multi-religious society and devotees from the nearby Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple often can be seen dropping by to light some incense — better to cover all bases we think.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 4th April, 2015.