Singapore: For more than a year, twenty artisans from India have been sharing sacred space with devotees and scores of other workmen in Singapore to help restore a 164-year-old Hindu temple, a declared national monument in the country. The restoration work has been ongoing for over a year now at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Little India at the cost of Rs 20 crore.
A chief sculptor and a team of 19 highly-skilled artisans from India are “painstakingly keeping” to the colour scheme of the original temple. The biggest challenges for the restoration team is to accommodate various rituals, festivals and ceremonies while the extensive work is being done.
The temple’s management committee chairman Vellayappan Karruppiah said,”every day, there are poojas going on and major festivals during which the work has to stop. The management committee has to plan so the work can be finished in time, and I am happy to say that we are on schedule,”.
The current renovations include making more space for devotees to worship, re-painting paintings, murals and religious motifs, and re-conditioning structures like tower entrance, pillars and temple roof.
At the end of the restoration process, an elaborate ceremony for the re-sanctification of the temple will be conducted by 39 priests on 22 April, an auspicious date as per the Hindu calendar.
Rare sacred ceremonies will be performed for over five months. It is believed that the rituals will bring goodness and prosperity to the devotees, community and nation.
The iconic temple, one of the oldest in Singapore, is undergoing its fourth renovation since it was declared a National Monument by the Preservation of Monuments Board of Singapore in 1978. The last three redevelopment works for the temple were done in 1979, 1992, and 2005.
Restoration and re-sanctification of Hindu temples here are carried out every 12 years.