The Sri Mahamariamman Temple is the oldest and richest running Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The temple was established in 1873 and located edging the Chinatown in Jalan Bandar. The architectural beauty of the temple has got high resemblance with the cultural heritage of South India. From the very beginning, the Indian immigrants in Malaysia have performed their religious practices in this important place of worship. Presently the temple has become an important center of cultural and national heritage. Though there are different opinions among the believers about the builder of this temple, but history says that K. Thamboosamy Pillai, a famous Indian millionaire built it for his familys own use. The temple was built in 1873 but it was opened to the public in the 1920s. The overall ambiance of the temple is amazing. The shape of the temple is quite unique as it looks like a human body with its head placed towards the west and the feet pointing east. The feet of this human body like temple are represented by a 75-feet high gopuram monumental tower which is around five tiers high. Each tower contains a wonderful gateway all decorated with 228 Hindu deities. The images of the deities are sculpted in the south Indian style. The idol of the chief deity, Sri MahaMariamman, is set at the inner sanctum of the temple. The central prayer hall in the temple is adorned by murals and frescos. Walls are designed with carved designing where thousands of images of deities are sculpted. There are basically three shrines in the main temple, which are covered by an ornamental inflated dome. Around the main prayer hall four smaller shrines are found. The temples are basically dedicated to Lord Ganesha and his brother, Lord Muruga. There is a gigantic silver chariot inside the temple which is a unique attraction in this temple. During the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, the chariot is brought out from the temple when Thaipusam is about to come closer. The festival is a heavy crowd drawing event in Malaysia. The statues of Lord Muruga and his consort Valli and Teivayanni are placed on this chariot and are carried by the devotees up to Batu Caves in wee hours of the morning. Before starting the procession, prayer session is organized where devotees fasten huge carriers kavadi to their bodies by hooks and pull the handy altars with lance piercing their skins. Some other devotees carry milk containers to offer to Lord Muruga.
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