Sri Krishnan Temple


Sri Krishnan Temple (a.k.a Sri Krishna Temple), on Waterloo Street was established in 1870. It is the only South Indian Hindu temple in Singapore dedicated exclusively to Sri Krishna and his consort Rukmini.

The Sri Krishnan Temple was established in 1870 when a person named Hanuman Beem Singh set up an idol of Sri Krishna under a banyan tree in Waterloo Street. Little is known about Hanuman Beem Singh, save for the fact that he set up the idol to cater to the religious needs of a large Hindu community that had established itself in the area bound by Bras Basah Road, Victoria street and Albert Street. Beem Singh passed on the management of the temple to his son Humna Somapah when he became too old to manage it on his own. By then, the number of people who congregated to worship at the temple had grown extensively. In 1904, the management of the temple was passed on to a lady named Joognee Ammal who bore the cost of the construction of the main shrine. When she no longer could manage the temple, she requested V. Pakirisamy Pillai to take over the temple. In 1935, she passed on the management to V. Pakirisamy Pillai, who built the hall and walls of the temple in the memory of his mother Alamaylo Ammal.

Pakirisamy Pillai was the son of Koona Vayloo Pillai, a wealthy Tamil businessman. When Koona Vayloo Pillai died in 1931, his estate was inherited by Pakirisamy Pillai and his brother Narayanasamy Pillai. Pakirisamy Pillai, a Chief Court Clerk with the firm Allen and Gledhill, served as the Chairman for the Hindu Temples' Committees of Management for four different Hindu temples. He became a City Councillor from the late 1940s to early 1950s, and in 1946 he served as a Justice of Peace. For his social and community work, he won many awards including the BBM by the President of Singapore, the Coronation Medal and the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the British empire. Pakirisamy Pillai is credited with the extensive development of the temple. His son Sivaraman took over the temple in 1984 and soon began renovating the temple. From 1985 to 1989, the temple went through extensive renovation work and the Mahakumbhabishekam or the Consecration ceremony took place in November 1989, presided over by the guest of honour, Wong Kan Seng, the Minister for Community Development and Foreign affairs.

As the temple is located very near to the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
, many Chinese devotees light joss sticks at the Sri Krishnan Temple as well. The temple's management therefore decided to build an altar dedicated to Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy within the temple's grounds. Religious activites at the temple include those by The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

Variant Names
Sri Krishna Bagawan Temple, Sri Krishna Bhagawan Temple, Sri Krishna Bhagwan Temple, Sri Krishna Temple, Krishna Temple, Krishnan Temple.

Thulaja Naidu

Samuel, D. S. (1991). Singapore's heritage: Through places of historical interest (p. 239). Singapore: Elixir Consultancy Service. 
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 SAM) 

Kan Seng gets a crown of flowers at temple consecration ceremony. (1989, November 13). The Straits Times, p. 1.

Nayar, P. (2000, July 15). God of all things. The Business Times, The Arts!, p. 3.

Wee, L. (2000, July 13). Krishna for kids and grown-ups. The Straits Times, Life!, p. 10.

The information in this article is valid as at 2003 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic

Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Religious Buildings
Temples, Hindu--Singapore
Historic buildings--Singapore
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