Possibly Malaysia’s oldest Hindu temple
Sri Poyatha Venayagar Moorthi Temple is one of the few existing Chetti temples in the country and, built in 1781, possibly the oldest Hindu temple in Malaysia. Like the Straits Chinese, another of Melaka’s Peranakan groups is the Chetti, made up of predominantly Indian Tamils intermarried with Malay. Melaka’s Chetti community have largely assimilated into the Malay culture, but remain Hindu.
The simple pagoda above the entrance to the temple lacks the rich embellishment of the gopura in other Hindu temples, with each tier depicting but one deity, however the bright coloured paintwork makes it hard to miss. Elephant-headed Ganesh is the main deity worshipped at the temple (known here as Venayagar). Notice the garland of mango leaves above the door, believed to absorb negative energy of anyone entering. Enter the modest temple into a central tiled hallway leading to the back room displaying a garland- and neon-light-festooned statue of Ganesh.
Visitors are welcome but the temple is closed outside of prayer time. Take off your shoes before entering. Several colourful unique Chetti festivals are celebrated throughout the year including Masimugam, dubbed a “Melakan version of Thaipusam”, which takes place in February or March and sees a 10-kilometre procession to Batu Berendam beginning at the temple.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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