Sri Krishnan Temple re-sanctified after $4 million restoration

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Waterloo Street was filled with the beating of drums and the patter of barefoot dancers yesterday morning as the Sri Krishnan Temple was unveiled in its fully restored glory after four years of works costing almost $4 million.

The 148-year-old Hindu temple, one of the oldest in Singapore, was re-sanctified in a consecration ceremony called Maha Samprokshanam, done every 12 to 15 years.

The event was attended by some 10,000 devotees, with Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran as guest of honour and MPs Denise Phua and Edwin Tong in attendance as well.

At 9.15am, an auspicious time chosen by the temple, holy water was sprinkled on the main entrance and temple dome by priests flown in from India.

The ritual marked the start of the 48-day consecration process.

The moment brought Ms Sharmila Kanagalingam, 33, to tears amid chanting and celebratory hugs among the devotees around her.

The interior design lecturer is the daughter-in-law of temple chairman P. Sivaraman, and played a part in the refurbishment.

"It is just years of build-up and anticipation for this moment," she said. "And also gratitude and relief that everything went to plan."

The shrines, pillars, ceilings and temple dome were upgraded in the renovation, which started in 2014.

In the four-year process, the temple committee collaborated with artists and technical advisers to review and endorse ideas for the renovation.

The dome and the statues around it were clad in gold-plated copper, while decorative works on the pillars required two sculptors crafting them on site over three years.

To ensure minimal disruption to worshippers, the new ceiling paintings depicting Lord Krishna's life were not painted directly onto the ceiling.

Instead, they were done in India and assembled on-site.

In the main hall, eight concrete shrines were replaced with onyx sanctums. The stone was chosen for its durability.

Mr Iswaran said the temple shows how Singaporeans share in one another's beliefs and culture, leading to a sense of community and mutual respect.

"One of the interesting features of this temple has been the fact that it has appealed to Singaporeans of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds."