Singapore Vinayagar Temple Timings: From 7:30 am to 12:00 noon and 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Pooja Timings at Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple:
6.30 AM: Abishegam
7.30 AM: Prayer – Kalasanthi Aarathi
11.45 AM: Uchi kaala Aarathi
12.00 noon: Sanctum Closing
4.00 PM: Abisegham
5.30 PM: Sayalatchai Aarathi
8.30 PM: Sanctum Closing
Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple, administered by Chettiars’ Temple Society, is located in the centre of China Town at the junction of Keong Saik Road and Kreta Ayer Road.
Nagarthars, also known as Nattukkottai Chettiars, are well-known money lending community belonging to Southern part of Tamil Nadu, India.
The temple is located in the busy commercial area of Singapore and attracts hundreds of devotees of all races.
Built in 1925, the temple has a very long history.
Thiru Muthu Palaniappan Chettiar, in his book, has written about the temple’s history and the deity of Lord Vinayagar being worshipped in the temple.
“A Saivaite from Chidambaram Town (Tamil Nadu) Thiru Ponnambala Swamigal came to Singapore as a soldier with the Indian National Army (INA). He was a family man and he brought with him a Vinayagar Idol for his daily worshipping. When he had to return back to India, he did not intend to bring with him the Vinayagar idol. Thus he wished to hand over the Vinayagar idol he worshipped to Singapore Nagarathars. Not able to decline Swami’s request, the Nagarathars built the temple and installed the Vinayagar idol.”
The main Sanctum has the following God Idols
1) 3 Vinayagars
2) The Holy Spear
4) Rama Naamam
Thiru A. Palaniappan has written about the history of this temple, in both English and Tamil, in the “Singapore Hindu” magazine (Section 1, Issue 5, 1994 January – March).
The excerpt from his article is as follows:
“The temple began near the new mortuary at the General Hospital. To reach the temple from the army quarters a pathway was created. At the end of the First World War the temple had an Atthapu Roof (roof made of metal sheets) with the idols of Lord Vinayagar and Naagar (Snake God). Hospital staff and prison staff from the prison at Outram Road made a huge portion of the worshippers who visited the temple. Thiru Sanniyasi performed daily prayers at the temple. When he has to return to Tamil Nadu, he approached the Nagarathars to take over the temple from him. Not being able to decline Swami’s request at this time the Nagarathars accepted the offer, built the temple and installed the Vinayagar Idol. They also appointed a Pandaram (Priest) to carry out daily poojas.”
10th November 1989:
In 1920, as part of the hospital extension plan, the government acquired the temple land and paid a sum of money to the Nagarathars. The Nagarathars then purchased the current land and constructed the temple in a grand style by spending a huge amount of money. During the construction of the new temple, the Vinayagar Idol at the old temple near the hospital was found in a damaged condition. So, they decided to arrange a new Black Stone Vinayagar Idol from India.
According to the religious procedures (agamas), the ruined idol should be immersed in sea. However, few Nagarathars had the opinion that it would be a breach of promise made to Thiru Ponnambala Swamigal.
Hence, the Nagarathars decided to install both the idols. The new Black Stone Vinayagar Idol was installed as the main deity and the old idol was also installed in front of the main deity in the sanctum. The Naagar and “Rama Namam” were also installed in the sanctum beside the Vinayagar idol. In addition, a Holy Vel (Holy Spear), symbolising Lord Muruga, was also installed. Since this new temple was located at the “Sepoy Line” (army quarters), it was called “Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple”. After the construction of the new temple, the Nagarathars began the practice of Silver Chariot Procession, in which Urchavar Sri Thendayuthapani was adorned and taken to Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple on the eve of Thai Pusam. Starting from Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road, the procession will go through Market Street, a business spot of the Chettiars, and will finally reach Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple. The same day evening the Chariot, with the Holy Vel and Urchavar Sri Thendayuthapani, will return to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple.
16th December 2007:
The Nagarathars were engaged in pawn broker business at Kittangis (Warehouse shops). They had with them idols of several deities for their daily worship. One Mr. Pichappa Chettiar, who was the trustee of the Tank Road Sri Thendayuthapani Temple for some time, was a popular figure in the society. When the government acquired the temple land at Market Street, Pichappa Chettiar donated his Vinayagar idol to the temple, which was installed as the third Vinayagar idol in the sanctum.
The last three consecration ceremonies of the temple were conducted by the Nagarathars in 1973, 1989 and 2007. The latest consecration was conducted in a grand manner on Sunday, the 16th December 2007. Nagarathars had spent almost S $ 3.5 million for redesign and renovation of the temple.
A beautiful 5-storey Rajagopuram is an addition to the temple. The side walls are removed in order to have an open concept inner-pragaram. Religious and family functions can be conducted in the multi-purpose hall having a seating capacity of about 110. Even though the temple is located at the busy China Town, it is quite calm in the inner-pragaram (the circumambulation path around the main sanctum) and is suitable for meditation.
Vinayagar Chathurthi is celebrated majestically at this temple. During Thai Pusam festival, the Holy Vel (Holy Spear) in this temple is taken in procession to Tank Road Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. The milk offered by the devotees for Lord Muruga on Thai Pusam day is poured on to this Holy Vel.
On the important festival occasions like Tamil New Year, Deepavali, Thiru Karthigai and Pongal, special prayers and offerings are performed first at this temple before being performed at Sri Thendayuthapani temple. Every week, between Thursday to Sunday, a large number of devotees belonging to different races do 108 Pragarams (circumambulations) to fulfil their oaths. Presently, there are three Vinayagar idols at this temple and its worshippers are blessed with peace and prosperity.
Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple,
73, Keong Saik Road,
Singapore – 089167.
Phone: +65 – 6221 4853