Introduction     Singapore Information     Singapore Travel Tips     Attractions

Singapore Attractions

 

Places of Worship

One of the most exciting things about travelling is acquainting yourself with a new culture. Besides visiting the ethnic quarters, a good way to do this is to step into one of the mosques, temples, churches and synagogues. Here in Singapore, the religions of different ethnic communities flourish harmoniously alongside each other. Where else can you find the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore in the heart of Chinatown?

Abdul Gaffoor Mosque

Tucked away from the bustle of Little India, this mosque was completed in 1910 to replace a more modest building. Of particular interest is the framed family tree to the left of the prayer area which traces the lineage of Muslim prophets.

Location:
41 Dunlop Street Singapore 209369
Tel: (65) 6295 4209
Getting There: Take the MRT to Bugis Station (EW12) and head for Rochor Road/Jalan Besar.


The first Indian settlers in Singapore arrived with
Sir Stamford Raffles as assistants and soldiers back in 1819. In the late 19th century, many more Indian immigrants arrived to find work, be it as labourers to build roads or to take up key positions in the civil service. Today, Little India is the focal point of Singapore's Indian community. Its spice-scented streets beckon you to a treasure trove of silverware, brassware, ethnic jewellery, jasmine garlands and silk saris. From the large Tekka Centre to the small provision shops, Little India is packed with interesting things to discover. During Deepavali, the Indian Festival of Lights, Little India is transformed into a fairyland of gaily decorated, brightly lit streets bustling with shoppers.

Don't miss the Little India Cultural Corner (next to the food court in the Little India Arcade) which transports you back in time through an archival display. There's also a striking display of traditional Indian items and story signs which brings to life the rich symbolism and use of these items. There's also the vibrant Indian-inspired murals painted by Singaporean youths next to Sri Veeramakalimman Temple.

For more information on Little India and the Indian community in Singapore, visit the Little India website at
http://www.littleindia.com.sg
Getting There:
From Orchard Road, take SBS bus 64, 65, or 111 to Serangoon Road.

Back to the Top 

Armenian Church

Singapore's oldest church, the Armenian Church in Hill Street was completed in 1835 to a design by colonial architect, George Coleman. Regarded as Coleman's masterpiece, the church is dedicated to St Gregory the Illuminator. It is designated as a national monument.

Location:
60 Hill Street Singapore 179366
Tel:
(65) 6334 0141
Fax: (65) 6334 3279
E-mail:
armen60@singnet.com.sg
Getting There:
Take the MRT to City Hall MRT Station (EW13/NS25) and walk in the direction of Hill Street.

Back to the Top 

Central Sikh Temple

The Central Sikh Temple was built to commemorate the 518th anniversary of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru. The chief place of worship for Singapore's 15,000 Sikhs, the temple boasts a skillful blend of modern and traditional architecture. The Granth Sahib, or holy book, is enshrined in a magnificent prayer hall which has a 13-metre wide dome. This temple was awarded the SIA Architectural Design Award in 1986.

Location:
2 Towner Road Singapore 913236
Tel:
(65) 6299 3855
Fax:
(65) 6296 1921
Getting There:
Take a taxi from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station (NS24) towards the junction of Towner Road and Serangoon Road.

Back to the Top 

Hajjah Fatimah Mosque

Built in 1846, the Hajjah Fatimah Mosque is named after a Malacca-born Malay who married a wealthy Bugis Sultan. Although it exhibits a combination of architectural influences, it has a decidedly British flavour.

Location:
4001 Beach Road Singapore 199584
Getting There:
Take the MRT to Lavender Station (EW11) and walk toward Beach Road.

Back to the Top 

Kong Meng San Phor Kark Temple

Spread over a hillside, this complex of Buddhist temples is one of the largest places of worship in Singapore. The buildings feature fine examples of Chinese decorations, statues and shrines. A large turtle pool, peaceful gardens and the constant hum of prayer add to the air of tranquillity.

Location:
88 Bright Hill Road Singapore 574117
Tel:
(65) 6453 4046
Getting There:
Take a taxi from Bishan MRT Station (NS17).

Back to the Top 

Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple

A national monument, this Buddhist temple was completed in 1908 and commemorates Buddha's birth and death. The temple has an elaborately decorated gateway, reached by a bridge, which opens into a courtyard. Visitors can see beautifully carved Buddhas here.

Location:
184E Jalan Toa Payoh Singapore 319941
Tel:
(65) 6259 6924
Fax:
(65) 6353 8147
Getting There:
A short walk from Toa Payoh MRT Station (NS19).

Back to the Top 

Maghain Aboth Synagogue

Singapore's small Jewish community congregates regularly at the Maghain Aboth Synagogue, which conducts regular services and observances of Jewish festivals.

Location:
24 Waterloo Street Singapore 187950
Tel:
(65) 6337 2189
Fax:
(65) 6336 2127
Getting There:
A short walk from Bugis MRT Station (EW12).

Back to the Top 

Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple

A 15-metre high statue of Buddha, surrounded by a seemingly endless chain of lights, is the focal point of this simple but impressive building. At the base of the statue is a fresco depicting important events in Buddha's life. In a chamber at the back of the statue, you can also find the image of the reclining Buddha. Please note that photo-taking of the reclining Buddha is not allowed. This temple is open daily from 8am to 4.45pm. For more details on the temple, look out for the information cards available at the premise.

Location:
366 Race Course Road Singapore 218636
Tel:
(65) 6294 0714
Getting There: Take a taxi from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station (NS24) or take SBS bus 64, 65, 106 or 111 from Orchard Road.

Back to the Top 

Sri Mariamman Temple

This magnificent structure is Singapore's oldest Hindu temple, dating back to 1827. The brick bones of the present building were built around 1843. Later additions have included a profusion of deities carved all over its walls, bell-decked doors and frescoes on the ceilings. The firewalking festival, Thimithi, is celebrated here. This is also a preferred venue of most Hindu weddings.

About Hindu Temples

As you enter the gates of the temple, look up at the gopuram or the tower over the entrance of the temple. Covered with figurative sculptures of gods and goddesses and mythological beasts, this tower is visible from afar so devotees can even say their prayers without stepping inside the temple. Notice strings of fresh mango and coconut leaves hanging above temple doors - they are signs of welcome and purity. Do remember to remove your shoes and leave them outside. At the door, devotees ask God to grant their requests by ringing the bells before entering. They also purify themselves by washing their hands and feet, and sprinkling water on their heads. Near the door, look out for the aluminium enclosure into which devotees break coconuts as a symbol of breaking their egos to reveal their pure and kind inner-selves.

Within the temple compound, remember to walk in a clock-wise direction and only encircle the temple hall an odd number of times as a sign of good luck. Look out for the offerings of bananas (symbol of abundance), mangoes and even sari for the goddesses at the shrine. Notice the use of the lotus, a symbol of human life to the Hindus, as a decorative motif. As the lotus bud stretches towards the sun despite its roots being embedded in mud; likewise man strives for the spiritual despite being rooted deeply in nature.

Location:
244 South Bridge Road Singapore 058793
Tel:
(65) 6223 4064
Getting There: Take the MRT to City Hall Station (EW13/NS25), then take SBS bus 103, 166 or 197 or TIBS bus 61 from North Bridge Road.

Back to the Top 

Sri Thandayuthapani Temple

Built in 1859 and rebuilt in 1983, the unique feature of this Southern Indian temple is the roof with 48 engraved glass panels which are angled to catch the rising and setting sun. The temple traditionally sees the culmination of the Thaipusam procession as well as the Navarathiri Festival.

Location:
15 Tank Road Singapore 238065
Tel:
(65) 6737 9393
Fax:
(65) 6735 0804
Getting There: A short walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station (NS24) towards Penang Road/Clemenceau Avenue.

Back to the Top 

St.Andrew's Cathedral

This is the second building to be erected on this site. The original was built by G.D. Coleman and consecrated in 1838. However, the Church was demolished in 1852 following two lightning strikes. The present Cathedral was designed by Colonel Ronald MacPherson in 1856. The Visitors Centre at the South Transept has a showcase of artifacts, pictures and a video of the Cathedral's history. Guided tours around the premises are also available.

Location:
Coleman Street Singapore 179802
Tel:
(65) 6337 6104
Getting There:
Take the MRT to City Hall MRT Station (EW13/NS25) and then exit in the direction of St Andrew's Cathedral. The cathedral is directly above the station.
Web sites :
St. Andrew's Cathedral
(http://www.livingstreams.org.sg/sac)

Back to the Top 

St.Joseph's Church

Singapore's Catholic community commemorates the crucifixion of Christ every Good Friday with a procession through the grounds of this church. In 1825, Father Francisco da Silva e Maia founded the Portuguese Mission on the site where St. Joseph's Church now stands. This was the first place of Catholic worship in Singapore. The old church building was demolished in 1906 and the new church, which still stands today, was opened in 1912. This architectural marvel is structured in the form of a Latin cross and boasts beautifully crafted stained glass windows. St Joseph's Church was gazetted as a conservation building in 1993.

Location:
143 Victoria Street Singapore 188020
Tel:
(65) 6338 3167
Getting There: A short walk from Bugis MRT Station (EW12) or take SBS bus 7, 81, 130, 133, 145, 197.
Service Times: For a list of service times, visit
http://www.veritas.org.sg

Back to the Top 

Sultan Mosque

With its massive golden dome and huge prayer hall, the Sultan Mosque is one of Singapore's most imposing religious buildings, and the focal point of Muslims in Singapore. The mosque, designed by Denis Santry, was built in 1928.

Location:
3 Muscat Street Singapore 198833
Tel:
(65) 6293 4405
Getting There:
Take the MRT to Bugis MRT Station (EW12) then take the exit in the direction of Blanco Court and walk towards North Bridge Road. A useful landmark is the Golden Landmark Hotel.

Back to the Top 

Tan Si Chong Su Temple

This ancestral Hokkien temple, which is also a community centre for the Tan clan in Singapore, is said to have excellent "feng shui" (luck or blessings). The decorations of the temple, built in 1876, are very well preserved, particularly the altars with their ancestral tablets. Much of the material used to build this riverside temple arrived in Singapore as ballast.

Location:
15, Magazine Road Singapore 059568
Getting There:
Take a taxi from Raffles Place MRT Station (EW14/NS26) or Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station (NS24).

Back to the Top 

Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church

The church's history can be traced to a rented shophouse in Boon Tat Street, where it was first established in 1889. Since its inception, the Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church has played a significant role in the birth of Methodism in Singapore through English and American missionaries who preached in Chinatown. The building that houses the church today was built in 1924 - 25 and it was gazetted as national monument in 1989.

Location:
235 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 068656
Tel:
(65) 6324 4001
Fax:
(65) 6324 4002
Getting There:
A short walk from Tanjong Pagar (EW15) MRT Station.

Back to the Top 

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd

The oldest Catholic church in Singapore, the Cathedral is also the revered home of the present Archbishop. But when the church's foundation stone was initially laid in 1843, little did people know that it would be the centre of an architectural design showdown between colonial architect-greats, D.L. Sweeney and J.T. Thomson. Thomson's design was eventually chosen even though it was considered more expensive than Sweeney's. Charles Dyce, a third architect, added the tower and spire to the design a year later. The Cathedral was gazetted as a national monument on 28 June 1973.

Location:
Queen Street Singapore 188533
Tel:
(65) 6337 2036
Getting There:
Take the MRT to City Hall MRT Station (EW13/NS25) and walk along Bras Basah Road.
Service Times:
For a list of service times, visit
http://www.veritas.org.sg

Back to the Top 

Thian Hock Keng Temple

This Taoist temple, built in 1821 by seamen grateful for a safe passage, stands where Singapore's waterfront used to be before reclamation. The materials used to construct the temple are truly international, with ironwork from Scotland, tiles from England and Delft, and towering granite pillars entwined with dragons. Many ancestral tablets stand in the courtyard, and massive lions mount guards at the doors.

Location:
158 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 048613
Tel:
(65) 6423 4616
Fax:
(65) 6423 4626
Getting There:
A short walk from Raffles Place (EW14/NS26) or Tanjong Pagar (EW15) MRT Station.

Back to the Top 

 

  Information provided by Singapore Tourism Board.

 

Home | Bhutan | Brunei | Cambodia | China-Yunnan | East Timor | Hong Kong | India | Indonesia | Japan | Kazakstan | Korea | Kyrgystan | Laos | Malaysia Maldives | Mongolia | Myanmar | Nepal | Pakistan | Philippines | Singapore | Sri Lanka | Tajikistan | Taiwan | Thailand | Tibet | Turkmenistan | Vietnam Uzbekistan

 

Website partner : Asia-planet.com...Tours and Hotels around Asia.
Version Francaise : Planete-asie.com

Copyright © 2002 Orasia co.,ltd. (Asia-planet.net) All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission prohibited.