Tanglin Halt residents are wokened up by the vociferous wailing of nadaswaram and thavil ensemble at Sri Muneeswaran Temple this morning. More than 15,000 residents and devotees have gathered at the Southeast Asia's largest Hindu temple worshiping the Muneeswaran god to witness the consecration ceremony. A consecration ceremony is a festive occasion done once every 12 years to sanctify the place of worship.
At ten minutes before eight, a group of Hindu priests from various temples across the island marched valiantly in front of an enthusiastic crowd, carrying containers of holy water from India. These priests entered the temple and performed a series of rituals before pouring the holy water from top of the dome known as gopuram to sanctify the place of worship.
A Procession Outside the Temple
Chanting rituals with the Priests
The ensemble of Nadaswaram and Thavil
Preparation Before Pouring of Holy Water
The Process of Consecration
Thereafter, an aarti was performed where devotees sing praises to their deity by chanting the Vedic yajna hymns. The burning of camphor followed. When aarti was performed, the priest faced the deity and waved in circular fashion, in a clockwise manner around the deity. Then it was distributed to the devotees, who hovered their hands over the flame and touch their hands to their eyes.
Chanting of Rituals
A Priest Pouring the Holy Water at the Deities
...While chanting the rituals
The Consecration ceremony marked the end of 18 months of renovation works at the historical temple at Commonwealth Drive where the prayer hall is expanded and 3 new sanctums are added. The carvings are repainted, exuding an aura of elegance and beauty.
Repainted curvings of Deities at the Temple
The beautiful interior of the temple
Devotees from across Singapore are then invited in an orderly manner into the temple to witness the ceremony. It is believed that witnessing this ceremony can absolve them of their sins. A symbolic lunch was provided for all the devotees at several locations in the former Police Station and in front of Block 46-2 Commonwealth Drive.
Devotees witnessing the Ceremony