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Singapore Churches, Mosques and Temples

Chinese Temples Churches Hindu Temples Mosques
Chinese Temples


Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Temple
Central Singapore. Address: 88 Bright Hill Drive
Commonly known as The Bright Hill Temple, the Phor Kark See Temple, is the largest temple complex in Singapore encompassing some 9 hectares (18 acres). Definitely worth visiting if for nothing else than it's sheer size, the temple features beautiful Chinese pagodas replete with dragons, birds and other exquisite decorations, Buddhist library, large turtle pool and huge crematorium.
Public Transport: From Bishan MRT take the SBS bus 130 north on Victoria Street or take a taxi.

Siong Lim Temple
Central Singapore. Address: 184E Jalan Toa Payah
A national monument, this Buddhist temple commemorates Buddha's birth and death - indeed, the Chinese name translates to Twin Groves of the Lotus Mountain which in turn symbolizes the place of Buddha's birth and death under a Bodhi Tree. Elaborate carvings adorn the temple, each with their own significance but perhaps the most interesting for the uninitiated are the Four Guards from Heaven that keep the Temple safe from evil and the Laughing Buddha - which supposedly brings good luck if you rub the stomach.
Public Transport: From Toa Payoh MRT walk along Jalan Toa Payoh

Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple
Little India. Address: 336 Race Course Road
Built by the Thai monk, Vutthisasala, The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple (also known as the 'Temple of the 1,000 Lights') is an interesting place. First, as you enter you will see a large footprint of Buddha lined with pearl. Then, in the centre of the sanctuary is a 15 - metre high statue of Buddha draped in the "1,000 lights". Walking around the back look for the door that lets you in to view another Buddha statue, this time reclining. As well for a small donation you can spin the roulette wheel to learn your fortune. Don't like your fortune ? Not to worry, you can try again with numbered sticks.
Public Transport: SBS buses 64, 65, 106 or 111 from Orchard Road

Thian Hock Keng Temple
Chinatown. Address: Telok Ayer Street
'The Temple of Heavenly Happiness', completed around 1842, Thian Hock Keng is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore as well as the most important Hokkien temple. This picturesque temple was initially a place where sailors and newly minted immigrants gave thanks to God for their safe voyage. As time went on the temple took shape from materials imported from China including the statue of the goddess that still stands supreme in the central hall.
Public Transport: From Raffles Place MRT walk to Lau Pa Sat then east up Cross Street

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Churches


Armenian Church
Heritage District. Address: Hill Street
Designed by George Coleman and completed in 1835, this is Singapore's oldest church and is dedicated to St. Gregory the Illuminator, the first monk of the Armenian Church. Not a particularly large as churches go, it is nonetheless a beautiful example of British Colonial architecture and is now a national monument.
Public Transport: From City Hall MRT west on Stamford Rd. to Hill St.

Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
Heritage District. Address: Queen Street
Another wonderful example of colonial architecture that has become a national monument, the Cathedral or the Good Shepherd is home to the current archbishop to Singapore and is oldest Catholic church in Singapore. Initially designed by J.T. Thomson the tower and spire were added by Charles Dyce a year afterwards.
Public Transport: From City Hall MRT walk west on Bras Basah Rd

St. Andrew's Cathedral
City Centre. Address: St. Andrew's Street
On the western edge of the Padang, this is the second church building erected on this site. The original church, designed by George Coleman and consecrated in 1838, was razed in 1852 after being hit twice by lightning. Today's cathedral was designed in Neo Gothic style by Colonel Ronald MacPherson and consecrated in 1862. Of particular interest to architectural students are the exterior walls which are plastered with a mixture of eggs, lime, sugar, and coconut husks that glows brightly when polished.
Public Transport: At City Hall MRT

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Indian Temples


Central Sikh Temple
Little India. Address: Towner Road
Recognised by the Singapore Institute of Architects in 1986 with its annual award for Architectural Design, the Central Sikh Temple is the focal point for some 15,000 Sikhs living in Singapore. Inside this temple commemorating Guru Nanak's 518th anniversary is the Sikh holy book, Granth Sahih.
Public Transport: From Bugis MRT west on Rochor Rd. to Serangoon Rd.

Sri Thandayuthapani Temple
Heritage District. Address: 15 Tank Road
Notable for its roof with 48 engraved glass panels that are angled to catch the sun throughout the day, the Sri Thandayuthapani Temple is where the Thaipusam and Navarathiri festivals culminate each year.
Public Transport: From Dhoby Ghaunt MRT south on Clemenceau Ave.

Sri Mariamman Temple
Chinatown. Address: 244 South Bridge Road
Dating back to 1827 when an Indian clerk, who journeyed on the same ship as Sir Stamford Raffles, erected a small hut on the site. The temple as it is now was completed around 1847 and is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore and now a national monument. Very popular with the island's Hindus, the Sri Mariamman Temple is always buzzing with activity - especially weddings. As well the Sri Mariamman Temple is the venue for the annual Thimithi (fire-walking) ceremony where the community's men walk on burning coals to prove their faith.
Public Transport: From Raffles MRT walk south to Cross St. then west to South Bridge Rd.

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Mosques


Abdul Gaffoor Mosque
Little India. Address: 41 Dunlop Street
This small, attractive mosque with umpteen spires was opened in 1910 and is of interest to Muslims who wish to study the family tree of the Muslim prophets.
Public Transport: from Bugis MRT west on Rochor Rd to Jl. Besar

Hajah Fatimah Mosque
Address: 4001 Beach Road
Unusual in a couple of respects. First is the architecture is not typically Middle Eastern and second, Hajah Fatimah Mosque, constructed in 1846, is named after its female benefactor, a Malaccan-born Malay who married a wealthy Bugis Sultan. A photo exhibit at the front shows a glimpse of Singapore's development as recalled in photos of the Mosque and the surrounding area over the years.
Public Transport: From Lavendar MRT walk south on Victoria then east on Jl. Sultan to Beach Rd.

Sultan Mosque
Little India / Arab Quarter. Address: North Bridge Road
The original mosque built on this site was financed with a donation of SGD 3,000 from the East India Company (authorised by none other than Sir Stamford Raffles). There is no mistaking the "new" Sultan Mosque and its impressive gold dome. Designed by Denis Santry and completed in 1928 the Sultan Mosque has a number of digital clocks designating correct prayer times and is one of Singapore's most important religious buildings.
Public Transport: From Bugis MRT walk up North Bridge Road

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Singapore's religious diversity is a model  for the world
Places of Interest

To underscore the racial and cultural diversity that is Singapore and its tolerance for diversity of religion one needs to look no further than the multitude of Churches, Mosques, Shrines, Synagogues and Temples existing on this tiny island / state - all in relative proximity and harmony. For westerners who have not yet had the opportunity to see many of the world's largest faiths, Singapore offers an unique opportunity to peek inside many differing places of worship and - hopefully - come away with a greater appreciation for other's beliefs.

Whilst there are certainly many other buildings not mentioned here (which arguably could provide more insight into the day to day faith) these churches, mosques temples mentioned here are generally visited for their aesthetic beauty or an interesting historical note.

Enjoy and let us pray that we all learn a little something on the subject of tolerance.

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