SINGAPORE - One of Singapore's oldest Hindu temples will have been given a new lease of life by the end of the year when a $6.8 million redevelopment project is completed.
Some $250,000 of the money towards the revamp of Sri Veerama Kaliamman Temple in Serangoon Road was raised last Saturday night at a dinner held at Orchid Country Club.
Among the more than 1,000 people who attended was Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam. Donors at each table pledged between $1,500 and $10,000.
The redevelopment project, which started at the end of last year, will see the temple being re-tiled and given a fresh coat of paint. A six-storey annexe will also be built to replace a three-storey wing. The new building will have wedding and dining halls as well as rooms for yoga, meditation and dance classes. These facilities can be rented out at subsidised rates to be decided later.
Mr R. Selvakumar, chairman of the organising committee for the fund-raising dinner, said current conditions at the temple - built more than 150 years ago - are cramped because of the large crowds of devotees and visitors who turn up every day.
The temple attracts close to 4,000 people on Sundays and another 500 to 1,000 visitors on each weekday. Many devotees and foreign workers visit the temple for the free meals that are dished out.
Mr Selvakumar, who is also the temple's honorary secretary and trustee, said: "The new building will allow us to reach out to more people and organise more recreational activities."