Tuesday, April 21, 2009

which one of these is a hindu temple?

you would think the answer is obvious. the second one is definitely the hindu temple. then, what is the first one?

actually, both are hindu temples. most non-indian singaporeans are familiar with the southern indian hindu temples because there are more of them and you can find one in practically every housing estate, either within the estate or at the fringe of it.

even the more well-known temples like the sri mariamman temple on south bridge road and the sri srinivasa perumal along serangoon road are both southern indian hindu temples.

many non-indians who walk past the first building on their way to the tekka market (which reopens in three months' time) or to the indian restaurants along race course road and chander road may not realise that this is a temple until they look at the signs.

the southern indian hindu temple is characterised by a pyramid-shape tower called the gopuram. the gopuram usually features fascinating sculptures of hindu deities and foral decorations. one of the main differences between the northern and the southern architecture is the gateway. in the southern style, the gateway is large and elaborate.

the northern hindu temple is characterised by a bee-hive shaped tower called a shikhara that rises in a massive conical shape. a shikhara is a tower or a spire.

the shreelakshminarayan temple in little india (chander road) and the sri sivan temple in geylang are examples of the northern style. the sri sivan temple at geylang east actually exhibits a mix of the northern and southern architecture in its design. however, the sri sivan (now called the sri siva durga temple) at potong pasir belongs to the southern style.


Yu-Kym said...

so that's where HSBC got their logo from!

yg said...

wah, you have seen what i failed to see. no wonder i thought the symbol look familiar. yes, it does look like the hsbc logo.