Sri Mahamariamman Temple – The Oldest Functioning Hindu Temple
Sri Mahamariamman Temple History
The Sri Mahamariamman Temple was founded by K. Thamboosamy Pillai in 1873 and was initially used as a private shrine by the Pillai family. The family opened the temple to the public in the late 1920s and eventually, it became an important place of worship for early Indian immigrants and is now an important cultural and national heritage.
You could spot a giant silver chariot (right on top of front entrance) which is also a major feature during the Hindu festival of Thaipusam. The chariot is brought out from the temple when Thaipusam approaches. You may pay a visit to the temple on that holy day to see for yourself how the chariot is used to carry the statues of Lord Muruga and his consorts (Valli and Teivayanni) up to Batu Caves in wee hours of the morning.
Prayers are offered prior to the long possession where devotees attach huge carriers (kavadi) to their bodies by hooks and haul the portable altars with lances piercing their skins. Other devotees will carry containers containing milk as offering to Lord Muruga.
*Visitors are requested to take off their shoes before visiting the temple, fret not, there is a locker service center situated right beside the temple entrance.
Main Prayer Hall
The main prayer hall features a richly-decorated onion-domed ceiling where three shrines are located; four smaller shrines are located peripherally around the main temple building.
All in all, these shrines house effigies of Lord Ganesha, Lord Muruga, Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) and more images. The temple was under wraps recently for renovations and now looks even more dazzling than ever.
*Other than Thaipusam, another popular festival that puts the Sri Mahamariamman temple in the center of attention is Deepavali, the festival of Light.
Puja Prayer Session
The main hall, also places where priests perform puja (prayers) with low, deep surging and subsiding chants which disciples take up, filling the hall with sound.
Temple monks will then lead the prayer ceremony by sending offerings to the Indian gods, followed by believers who patiently queue in line.
*There are three Puja session for each day which falls at 7.30am, 12.15pm, and 5.30pm.
Hindu Prayer Offering
Not sure where to buy those prayer offering before visiting Sri Mahamariamman Temple? No worries, there are few stalls in front of the temple just to cater for such purposes.
Instead serves as offerings, you can also buy these flower ring as home decoration or snacks just to try out the taste if you are curious enough! 😉
*Each flower ring has its own meaning (marriage, prayer or luck etc) and other usages, do consult with the stall owner in order to know more.
From Train (LRT)
- Take off from Pasar Seni Station, The Sri Mahamariamman Temple is about 1km walking distance.
From Bus (RapidKL)
- 821,822,851,180,640,650,651, 652,772,780,781,782,750,751, 752,770,771
*Highly recommend visiting “Petaling Street (Chinatown)”, located nearby and famous for street food and bargain baazaar.
Address: 163, Jalan Tun H. S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur.
Contact: +603 2078 3467
Open Hours: 06.00 am – 09.00 pm (Mon-Sun)