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by Emer Camaya

The Penang Nagarathar Sivan Temple, and the nearby, relatively modern, 65-story KOMTAR.
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Ganesh Temple at Batu Caves, after some renovations recently. :)

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Glass temple in Johor

JOHOR BARU: Imagine 300,000 pieces of finely cut coloured glass carefully placed together to create intricate designs. The sight will amaze any beholder.

And it exists at the Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Temple, known as the country’s first glass temple that is taking shape along Jalan Tebrau.

Attractive: A portion of the temple featuring six different coloured glass pieces

Temple president S. Sinathambhy, who is also an art teacher, said that so far RM2mil had been spent to renovate the 87-year-old temple.

He added that he conceptualised the design while riding in a motorised taxi (tuk tuk), during a trip to Bangkok.

“I saw something shimmering from afar and told the driver to take me towards the light.

“I finally came to a Buddhist temple that had a piece of glasswork at its entrance and I was amazed by the beauty of the piece,” he said.

Eye-catching: The front portion of the temple.

Sinathambhy said he expanded on the idea to build a temple that would be fully embellished with coloured glass.

“I thought that having a temple filled with glasswork could attract many people,” he said. The 300,000 pieces of glasses on the Arulmigu temple consist of six colours, namely blue, red, yellow, green, purple and white.

Sinathambhy added that the temple was initially built in 1922 and needed a major makeover.

“I hired a few workers from Myanmar to help put up the glasswork,” he said, adding that he was involved in the design.

“It has not been easy since I started work on the project one year ago, and the current economic situation has made the task even more difficult,” he said.

Sinathambhy explained that the price of steel, glass and transportation charges had all increased over the past one year.

Beautiful: The interior portion of the Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Temple dubbed as the ‘Glass Temple.’

“We initially estimated the cost to be about RM1.5mil but it has since doubled,” he said. However, he was still hopeful of completing the project by October.

“I am thankful to all who donated. But there’s still more to do, such as installing the drainage and waterproofing system.

“The works are only partially completed but I am confident that this temple will be a major tourist attraction in the city,” he said.

Sinathambhy said the official opening of the temple had been set for Oct 25 and was expected to attract people from all over the world.

He added that he was especially grateful to the Sultan of Johor for giving the land to the temple.
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New seven-storey tower at temple is almost ready

Posted on January 21, 2014 | 77 views | Topic : Property News.

Crafted tower: The main structure in front of the Gunung Cheroh Sri Subramaniam temple is covered with safety netting.

THE consecration ceremony of the new seven-storey-high rajagopuram (main tower) at the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh will be held in July.

Ipoh Hindu Devasthana Paripalana Sabah secretary M. Vivekananda said the structure was already 90% completed.

He said on Feb 6, the palasthnam ceremony to temporarily shift the statue of Lord Muruga for 42 days would be carried out.

He said the ceremony would be held to allow renovation works to be carried out at the moolasthanam (principal altar).

He said the statue of the deity would be relocated to another area within the temple grounds.

“Once all the minor renovation works are completed, we will be ready for the consecration ceremony expected on July 4.

“For next year Thaipusam, devotees will be able to witness the 21.3m-tall rajagopuram,” he said.

It was previously reported that the rajagopuram that served as a grand entrance to the temple, was expected to be completed for a consecration ceremony early last year.

Craftsmen from South India were hired to do the crafting and detailing works of the statues on the rajagopuram that commenced in 2010.

Vivekananda said there were a total of 528 statues of deities crafted on the rajagopuram, and therefore detailed and quality work had been carried out for the structure to last for more than 100 years.

“We just don’t want to have a main tower that will last us for a few years, and after that we have to construct another one,” he added.

He said traders at Jalan Bendahara in Ipoh had sponsored the construction of the rajagopuram.

He declined to reveal the cost.
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Structure erected despite stop-work order

Posted on January 21, 2014 | 32 views | Topic : Property News.


The Batu Caves temple management, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam has once again drawn criticism for erecting a 43 ft (13.1m) Krishna statue preceded by a 90 ft (27.4m) horse drawn chariot with water fountains without approval.

THE Batu Caves temple management, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam has once again drawn criticism — this time for building a 13.1m Krishna statue without approval.

The statue, built in front of the Ramayana Cave, includes a 27.4m horse-drawn chariot with mini fountains.

The statue was built despite a stop-work order for a cable car project by the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS).

The order was to prompt the temple management to submit applications for 20 existing illegal structures in the popular tourist attraction.

The management unveiled the statue on Jan 14.

In a local Tamil daily, it was reported that the temple chairman, Tan Sri R. Nadarajah, was inspired by a similar statue he had seen in Jakarta and decided to build it here.

When contacted, MPS confirmed that the committee did not apply for the necessary approval to build the statue.

MPS public relations officer Ahmad Fauzi Ishak said the last application the Planning Department had received was for the cable car project.

“We did not receive any application to build the statues and as such, it is deemed illegal. In fact, it has become a norm for the committee to submit applications for big projects only,” he added.

To make matters worse, the temple committee is charging RM10 per person to visit the Geetha Upadhesa (Krishna statue and chariot), The Ramayana Cave and the Suyambu Lingam (self-formed Siva Lingam).

Visitors to the Ramayana Cave during the Thaipusam festival last weekend were shocked over the charges.

Elangovan Annamalai, from Kuala Lumpur said the temple should disclose the accounts for the money collected.

“What is the money being used for? The upkeep of the caves is really bad. The staircase leading up to the Suyambu Lingam is steep and there is no railing to hold on to for safety,” he added.

However, Elangovan said the statues inside the cave that narrated the Ramayana epic is a good idea and helps the younger generation learn about it.

“Although their efforts to educate is good, I am worried about safety aspects.

“The roof does not look sound and there is a section cordoned off for renovations,” he said.

He said no further construction should be carried out until tests are carried out to determine the ground conditions.

Another visitor, who only wanted to be known as S. Selvaraj, said as a frequent visitor he had never seen the statue before.

“It is so big and hard to miss. It looks like it was just built.”

Ahmad Fauzi said the council is currently in the process of legalising all the illegal structures and had asked the temple committee to submit the necessary documents.

Meanwhile, Nadarajah said the application for the Krishna statue was included in the application to MPS to legalise the 20 illegal statues.

He said the statue was an upgraded version of an existing statue and merely an aesthetic improvement.

On why he had allowed the aesthetic improvement without approval from MPS, he said there was nothing wrong in repainting the statues.

“Just because we are waiting for approval, it does not mean that we cannot paint the statues?” he said.

Nadarajah said that after the council had issued a stop-work order for the cable car, they have not pursued the matter.

He said they had an excellent relationship with the council and were cooperating fully.

“Some people are spreading lies about the situation but everything is under control,” he said.
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I noticed in India, the northern temple architecture is much different from the southern one that we typically see in Malaysia. Northern ones tend to be simple while southern temples more ornate and colourful. Any insights on this?
Me thought Sikh's place of worship is called 'gurdhuwara' ???

Me thought Sikh's place of worship is called 'gurdhuwara' ???

And Hindu temples in Tamil, "Kovil", "Kuil"? I guess in India, northern regions they are referred as "mandir" while southern places as "kovil"?
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