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    Dear friends,
    The Singapore temple next coming up for us to know about is the SRI RUTHRA KALI AMMAN TEMPLE . It celebrated its centenary in 2013.
    On to the details.

    Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple
    ஸ்ரீ ருத்ர காளியம்மன் கோவில்

    Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple is located in SingaporeSri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple
    Location within Singapore
    Geographic coordinates 1°16′53.08″N 103°48′50.09″ECoordinates: 1°16′53.08″N 103°48′50.09″E
    Type Dravidian architecture
    Creator Lakshmana Nadar
    Completed 1913
    Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple (Tamil: ஸ்ரீ ருத்ர காளியம்மன் கோவில்) is a temple for the goddess Kali who is the presiding deity, along Depot Road, in Bukit Merah, Singapore. The other deities of the temple include Sri Vinayagar, Sri Subramaniar, Sri Muneeswaran, Navagrahas, Sri Kaleeswarar, Sri Mangalambigai, Sri Dhakshinamoorthy, Sri Sandigeswarar and Sri Nandeeswarar.[1]

    Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple was originally a small shrine, housed in a wooden building, situated at the Alexandra Brickworks grounds at Pasir Panjang Road (present location of Port of Singapore Authority, PSA building) and catered to the Hindus working at Brickworks and those who lived in the surrounding areas.

    Mr. Lakshmana Nadar, an employee at Brickworks, is believed to have been responsible for building this shrine in 1913. In 1923, through the assistance of the Borneo Company, whose subsidiary was the Alexandra Brickworks, the wooden structure was replaced by a brick building to give it the form of a simple temple.[2]

    Management Committee
    Mr Letchumanan Nadar initially looked after the affairs of the Temple. He was succeeded in turn by Messrs Solai Padaiyachi, Pumpaya Nadar, Shanmuga thevar and P. Ramasamy. A Management Committee was formed in 1958 under the chairmanship of Mr. Rengiah to be followed by succeeding Management Committees in 1960, 1963, 1967 and 1969 with Messrs Neelamegam Pillai, P. Ramasamy, S. Karralasingam and V. Sivapragasam, respectively as Chairmen.

    The temple was maintained through donations collected from among its devotees - both the Hindu employees of the Brickworks and those from the surrounding areas. The Borneo Company and later the Alexandra Brickworks had, for many years, made an official contribution of S$10.00 per month until the early part of 1967. The Pasir Panjang Power Station's Hindu employees gave good support in later years when the Brickworks' Hindu employees numbers had diminished.

    However, there were periods in the not too distant years preceding June, 1967 when the temple lacked funds even for its running expenses. Through approaches made by Priest M. Doraisamy, a new Management Committee was set up on 27 May 1967 with Mr S. Karalasingam as Chairman. The new Committee devised ways and means for the systematic collection of funds to meet the Temple's pooja expenses, priest's remuneration and other expenditure. It also renovated the Temple building including some structural alterations to provide better convenience to devotees.[2]

    Maha Kumbabishegam on 1968
    Then followed the Asthabandana Maha Kumbabishegam (Consecration Ceremony) on 11 February 1968 for the installation of new granite statue of Sri Ruthra Kaliamman to replace the non granite (suthai) statue of the Deity. On 23 October 1969, the Prathishtai (Supplementary Consecration Ceremony) was conducted to install the granite statues of Sri Vinayagar and Sri Subramaniar to replace framed pictures of these Deities. The late Mr. K. Raman Nair, an employee of Pasir Panjang Power Station, and a staunch supporter of the Temple - ordered the three statues from India and donated them to the Temple.[2]

    Depot Road Premises
    About two years later, on 2 December 1971, Alexandra Brickworks' Management served notice on the Temple to quit by 30 June 1972 as it had decided to sell its property to the Port of Singapore Authority. After protracted negotiations, the Brickworks Management and the Temple's Management Committee agreed upon the sum of S$260,000/- as outright compensation to vacate the Temple premises. With the assistance of the late Mr. S.L.Perumal (the Temple Adviser) the four Deities, Sri Ruthra Kaliamman, Sri Vinayagar, Sri Subramaniar and Sri Muneeswaran were moved during the Balasthabana Prathisthai (Temporary installation Ceremony) on 5 February 1973 to the Sri Manmatha Karunya Eeswarar temple at 249, Cantonment Road, Singapore 089772, where they were to remain until a new temple was built to reinstall them.

    Navagraha deities in Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple.
    Later the temple was demolished as Alexandra Brickworks sold the land to the Port of Singapore Authority. Meanwhile, construction work for the new temple began on 27 October 1980 after the Housing Development Board (HDB), invited tenders, in February 1978, through the press for a religious site 2,000 sqm (21,528 sq.ft) in area at Depot Road on a 99-year lease - which was successfully tendered by the Temple Management for $195,687/-.[2]

    The consecration of the temple on 11 September 1983 marked the climax of 10 years of the effort by one and all in the successful shaping of the Temple. On 27 November 1987, the Sakthi Sametha Navagrahas Kumbhabishegam was held, the first of its kind in Singapore. Such statues are also very rarely found - even in India. Another significant ceremony was the inaugural Flag Raising Ceremony, which was held on 22 April 1988.

    With fund limitation, the idea of a neo-classical temple at 10 times the initial financial resources available was thought to be building castles in the air but it slowly but surely materialized. Apparently the success story of the birth of the new updated temple costing about $2.7 million.[2]

    Social activities
    The Temple complex has a distinct and separate 4 storey annex block which makes it complete to hold activities such as social, educational and cultural activities.[2]

    Services offered by the temple include

    Yoga classes
    Carnatic music lessons
    Astrological services
    Wedding ceremonies, etc

    With the new Temple in operation, the Management Committee provided excellent Hindu religious services for daily prayers and religious events throughout the year with clean and conducive environment for worship by Devotees.

    Simultaneously, the Management Committee gave equal importance to extra-religious, community related, social, cultural and educational activities facilitated by the Ancillary Facilities Building. The 3rd storey Wedding Hall / Auditorium and the 2nd storey Multi-purpose Hall were extensively used for Weddings, Social functions and Lectures while the 4th storey rooms were used as Library, tuition class rooms and hall for conducting classes in Yoga, Meditation, Bharatha Natyam (Dance) Classical Music, Devotional Singing, Mass Bhajans practice etc.

    The Sathya Sai Volunteer Group of Telok Blangah conducted weekly multi-racial, multi-religious Bhajan singing and talks besides conducting regular weekly education in Human values classes for nearly 300 children of ages 4 to 16 years.

    The Temple and the Sathya Sai Centre of Telok Blangah jointly organized several social, welfare and cultural projects annually over the years. They include

    Inviting Inmates of Moral Welfare Homes, Homes for the aged / Handicapped to the Temple for entertainment and serving of food with love and care
    Visiting homes of the needy / sickly and providing basic needs.
    Distributing food hampers of basic items / NTUC Vouchers to selected needy families.
    During festive season, inviting needy ethnic families with children for entertainment and distribution of gifts.
    Organizing games and fun carnival for children
    Preparing children for National Day Celebration to sing / dance / drama
    Organising volunteers and taking part in Temple washing / cleaning and major Temple functions.
    During important ethnic festivals such as New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali and Christmas, mass multifaith prayers (Bhajans) are conducted followed with serving of sweets and snack / meals.
    Temple’s Annual Scholarship / Bursary Awards Presentation ceremony with the assistance of Sai Volunteers with all preparations and logistics.
    The Temple celebrated its centenary in 2013. A brief walk through its history is given below:
    This year SRI RUTHRA KALIAMMAN TEMPLE celebrates 100 years (CENTENARY) of its existence in Singapore (1913-2013). The following are important highlights in the 100 year history of the Temple
    Original Temple was set up as a small shrine housed in a wooden structure within the precincts of the former Alexandra Brickworks (present site of PSA Building / Alexandra Distripark) at Pasir Panjang. Mr Letchumanan Nadar an employee of the Brickworks was responsible for the establishment of the Temple dedicated to Goddess Ruthra Kaliamman in 1913.

    Wooden structure of the shrine was replaced by a brick building to give it the form of a simple temple with idols of cement mortar statues (sothai) and framed pictures. The Temple co-existed in harmony in the company of other multi religious places of worship in close proximity within the Brickworks sprawling compound. The temple was patronized by the Hindu employees of the Brickworks and nearby Pasir Panjang Power Station and Hindu residents in the neighbourhood of the Temple.

    1968 - 1969
    Idols of Deities etc., were replaced with specially crafted granite statues of Sri Ruthra Kaliamman, Sri Sithi Vinayagar and Sri Subramaniar followed by Consecration Ceremonies. All three granite statues were imported from India and donated by the Late Mr Raman Nair an employee of the Pasir Panjang Power Station.

    Granite statues of the Deities from the Temple had to be relocated to make way for demolition of the temple after being compensated by the Brickworks. They were auspiciously shifted and housed temporarily in Sri Manmatha Karuniya Eswarar Temple at 249, Cantonment Road with continuity of routine prayers and worship by Devotees until a new Temple building was ready.

    1978 - 1983
    Purchase of a 2000m2 site at Depot Road on a 99-year lease hold from HDB. The concept planning and design were based on South Indian Hindu Temple Architecture. The construction of a magnificent neo-classical temple building with sculptural and painting works together with a separate 4 storey Ancillary Facilities Building was completed in 1983. Temple Trusteeship and Society were registered under the Registrar of Societies with Dr A Vijiaratnam, Dr P N Unni and Mr S L Perumal serving as Trustees with Mr V Sivapragasam as President, Mr S Rasiah as Vice-President, Mr V R Nathan as Hon. Treasurer and Mr T M Kumar as Hon. Secretary who was mainly responsible for overseeing the planning, design, construction and fundraising along with the Trustees and many others who served in the Committees responsible for Building & Fundraising.

    Inaugural Maha Kubabishegam (Grand Consecration Ceremony) was performed with the permanent installation of the granite statues of Sri Ruthra Kaliamman, Sri Sithi Vinayagar and Sri Subramaniar along with the symbolic representation of Sri Muneeswarar in the magnificent new abode at Depot road. The ancillary building with a multipurpose hall, wedding hall, staff quarters, library, meeting room, class rooms, etc along with the basement car park was inaugurated for use related to Social, Educational, Cultural and community related activities / events and religious functions.

    11 Sept 1983 – 1987
    Installation of granite statues of Sakthi Sametha Navagrahas and Kodi Maram (Flag Post) followed by Consecration.

    Inaugural Chithra Powrnami Kodiyetra Thiruvizha (Flag – Hoisting Ceremony & festival) with 10-day prayers was performed from 22 April 1988. Chithra Powrnami Kodiyetra Thiruvizha is performed annually since then with great devotion and participation for 10 days.

    2 Sept 1992
    On completion of the new Shiva Sakthi Sanctum adjacent to the main Temple, a Kumbabishegam (Consecration Ceremony) was performed. Dr R Karunanithy, who served as the President of the Temple from 1986 to 2008 made a major donation towards the construction of the Shiva-Sakthi sanctum.

    31 Aug 1995
    1st 12 – year cyclic Maha Kumbabishegam was performed after carrying out necessary renovation and improvement works to the Temple Complex and Ancillary Building including construction of new Sanctums for Navagrahas & Sri Muneeswarar.

    1 Sept 2003
    On completion of the 65 feet tall majestic Raja Gopuram and execution of major upgrading and improvement works * to Main Temple and Sanctums, a grand consecration ceremony was performed.

    25 May 2012
    On completion of major upgrading and improvement works * to the Ancillary Building, with installation of lift, addition of 5th storey attic hall, rooms at every level, and replacement of all services with new improved services, a grand opening Ceremony was held with Mr S R Nathan, 6th President of Singapore as Guest of Honour.

    Aug - Sept 2013
    Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple commemorating 100 years in Singaore, 1913 – 2013. Centenary celebration with grand auspicious prayers from 23 Aug 2013 to 10 Sept 2013 & Centenary Celebrations Dinner on 21 Sept 2013.

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