Central Sikh Temple

Many of us might not even think that much of the Sikh religion which is in fact one of the leading religions of Asia, third largest religion of India. The Central Sikh Temple of Singapore is the first and largest Sikh Gurdwara or temple. The temple has a great role in the keeping together of local Sikhs in terms of religion and cultural life.

In India 1.15% of the total residents have the Sikh religion. Talking about the country with the highest population in the world this means millions of people carrying the Sikh faith. In Singapore there are more than fifteen thousand Sikhs originating mostly from the Punjabi region of India. The Sikhs have originally escaped from India from the British Occupation, between 1849 and 1881. As the British forces soon arrived in Singapore too, Sikhs were made to accept their situation and the British quite smartly have made a whole Sikh contingent called the “Sikh Contingent of the Straits Settlement” being an organized police force this way ensuring Sikhs of their importance in the society and life of Singapore. The first Sikh temples were too small to accommodate hundreds of worshippers so the need for Sikh temples grew steadily.

The Central Sikh Temple was already established in 1912 but since then it has exchanged buildings and locations multiple times. Today it is located at the Serangoon Road by Towner Road and Boon Keng Road junction. The Central Sikh Temple of Singapore is also called Wada Gurdwara meaning big temple. The Queens Road has the very first Sikh Temple of Singapore. In the Sikh religion, a temple does not only serve religious needs but also gives accommodation for those who have nowhere else to stay, also supplies people with some basic food and helps them move on in their lives. All Sikh temples work this way including the Central Sikh Temple too, which has residences and classrooms for teaching the Sikh religion. Leaving Queens Road Temple stand the main objection of having a greater temple made local Sikh community to look for another territory and building which was bigger than the former one. The second site of the Central Sikh Temple was located at Singapore’s Tion Bahru estate yet later on with the third destination, the final place of the Sikh temple was finalised. The last and main Central Sikh Temple of Singapore opened on a date, which coincided with the anniversary of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. The first Sikh Temple on the Queens Road is today a recognised historical site of Singapore.

The Central Sikh Temple looks beautifully; in style, it creates a mixture between classic, Indian, Christian and even Muslim architectural styles. It has a beautiful 13-metre wide dome and upon entering the temple, you will see beautiful white, grey, gold mosaic tiles mixing with each other. Interestingly the hall was created not to contain any columns on the inside. The beautiful temple houses the Holy Book of Sikhs, the Granth Sahib having a key role in the life of every Sikh. Although the temple offers free admission, only enter if you feel that you are dressed and able to behave properly including every member of your family.

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