I’ve never actually set foot in the Sri Mariamman Temple. I was down at Pagoda Street this afternoon to attend a wedding, and I had a few minutes to wander around the area. The last time I was at Pagoda Street was probably like well over a decade ago. I think I was there at someone’s office for a LAN party. Something like that. I definitely wasn’t there to do what most people, i.e. tourists, go there to do.
Technically, I still haven’t explored the Sri Mariamman Temple today. I saw that they were charging a fee for photography. I only had a few minutes to spare, so I decided not to go in after all. The Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, and it is a major tourist attraction here. It has been gazetted a National Monument since 1973.
For now, I shall remain a Singaporean who hasn’t quite set foot in this historical site. At some time, though, I really have got to come back to see this place.
It’s very interesting that the Sri Mariamman Temple is cited in Chinatown area. If you’re interested, you can Google around to find out more information about how the temple came to be erected where it is right now.
Pagoda Street is really all about tourism. Most of the shops and stalls are selling some sort of souvenirs, some sort of Singapore T-shirt, national costumes/dresses, etc. I suppose if you were a tourist and only had just one hour to do some shopping to bring home souvenirs for everyone back home… this would be one of the most convenient places to go to.
The afternoon was hot today. (Yes I know it rained later, but it was pretty hot when I was there in the early part of the afternoon.) The street was still quite crowded. Not just with tourists, but I’d say also a good number of Singaporeans. The Sri Mariamman Temple is clearly the star attraction there though. Bus loads of tourists where arriving and departing.
There are no cars on Pagoda Street, because it is a pedestrian mall now. It used to be one-way street, at one time, before they closed off one end of it from vehicular traffic, and then now becoming entirely a pedestrian mall. The mall, flanked on both sides by traditional-styled shophouses (and, of course, the Sri Mariamman Temple at the start of the street), ends in a modern, airy, glass-roofed structure – the entrance to the Chinatown MRT station on the Northeast Line. It’s very convenient to get there by train with the station literally spilling out right onto the mall.
That’s one-hour of me being a tourist today!