Situated right in the middle of Penang’s Little India in the city of Georgetown is the Sri Mahamariamman temple, a truly amazing architecture that delivers a sight filled with culture and heritage.
The Sri Mahamariamman temple dates back to the year 1801 and is known to be one of the most popular altar and spiritual worship entities in the country. Back then, the Sri Mahamariamman temple was constructed after the Indian community realised a need for a proper temple ground to worship the gods. The number of devotees had increased each year, leading to a lack of space for them to perform prayers and rites. After much extension and refurbishment, the original temple was fully completed in 1833 where it still stands erect today close to two centuries since its building.
The beauty of the Sri Mahamariamman temple is the elaborated art work, known as gopuram, plastered around the building. Every piece of art work was made by the hands of Southern India’s finest and the best artists. Other parts of the temple is also decorated with various Hindu deities, sacred animals and colourful and eye catching architecture, making it one of the best and most stunning temples in Penang island.
Subramaniam, Durga, and Ganapathy are just some of the beautiful deities that are worshipped here in the Sri Mahamariamman temple. All the sculptures clearly show the magnificent workmanship of the artists. There are also some exclusive statues which have gold, diamond and emerald finery mounted on it, such as the statue of Lord Subramaniam.
Prayers usually take place in the early morning, so if you would like to observe how the temple priests conduct the prayers, do drop by the temple in the early morning. However, make sure you adhere to the unwritten rules of the temple or any other house of worship. You will first need to obtain the permission of the elder priest before entering the temple. Do not attempt to sneak in as it is not polite and you might even offend the gods. Also, remember to take off your shoes before entry.
Known also by other names such as Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple and Sri Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple is open every day from 8.00am to 12.00pm The temple is closed for a break of several hours and you are welcome to resume your visit at 4.30pm to 9.00pm
Entrance to the temple is free of charge. Visitors are not allowed in with their shoes on.
How to get to the Sri Mahamariamman Temple
The temple is located in the center of Georgetown on Lebuh Queen (Queen Street) in the Little Indian area. The back entrance is on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (Pitt Street), in between Lebuh Pasar and Lebuh Chulia. To visit this lovely temple from Kuala Lumpur, you will need to make your way to the island of Penang either by road or by air. The journey by road will take you between 3-4 hours depending on your speed while one of the flights available daily will take you only 50 minutes. However, if you are already in Penang, make your way to Jalan Masjid Kapitan Kling (Lebuh Pitt) which the temple sits on. The road lies in between Lebuh Pasar and Lebuh Chulia, two of the most popular streets in Penang, so you’d wouldn’t have trouble finding this structure rich in culture and arts.
Video Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Map of the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Georgetown
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