Singapore

Living City: Devoted to a shrine long after last train is gone

As a boy in the 1960s, Mr Adaikalam Annadhurai served at Sri Muneeswaran Temple in Queensway, often helping with the preparation of food during Hindu festivals. 

In 1970, the temple moved to its current location in Commonwealth Drive but the then 15-year-old devotee did not follow suit.

“I remember back then, I would also visit this small shrine next to the temple. It was left out of the move you see, so I stayed and prayed,” said the 64-year-old civil servant.

Today, after more than 40 years, Mr Adaikalam is still praying at the shrine named Sri Thandavaalam Muneeswaran Alayam Shrine.

The shrine is located along the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway track, hidden from view under a flyover at the intersection of Queensway and Portsdown Avenue. It was built by former KTM railway workers, who used to live in a row of now abandoned zinc-roofed apartments.

Mr Adaikalam and his fellow devotees came to care for the shrine after the train services between Tanjong Pagar and Woodlands stopped in 2011 and the KTM railway land was returned to Singapore.

“After the workers left, electricity and water supply was cut off,” said Mr Adaikalam. “We bought a generator for power, and water is carried to the shrine by the devotees.” 

In this episode of Living City, The Straits Times Video visits the Sri Thandavaalam Muneeswaran Alayam shrine.

HindufestivalRAIL