About Sree Ramar Temple
The history of Sree Ramar Temple can be traced back to a shrine that was situated at the base of a tree at its present site. It began as a place of worship for inhabitants in the nearby village. The shrine housed the deities of Sree Ramar, Sree Seetha, Sree Lakshmanar and Sree Hanuman. The site was subsequently secured from the authorities after the second World War. Residents from Changi Village as well as men from the British forces helped in the construction of the temple.
Upon the completion of the Temple’s construction, a consecration ceremony was held in March 1946. The Temple became an important place of worship and a landmark in Changi Village. According to the Agamas (religious doctrines), there are various factors that influence the location of a temple. Experts in Temple Science and Architecture from Madurai in South India who had at some point visited Sree Ramar Temple pointed out three significant factors that were in favour of the location of the Temple: that it was facing east, that it was overlooking the sea and that it was guarding the village.
In early 1991, a group of volunteers decide to replace the pictures of all the deities in the Temple with small granite statues. The replacement process was completed in December 1991 and a consecration ceremony was conducted for the newly installed granite statues of the deities in January 1992.
Immediately after the consecration ceremony, a pro-tem committee was formed and a proposed constitution for the Temple was drafted. The pro-tem committee then applied to the Registrar of Societies to register the Temple under the Societies Act. On 26 January 1993, the Temple was officially registered as a society.
Although primarily a Vaishnavite temple, there are also Saivite deities in the temple. The presence of Saivite deities, especially a Shivalinga, enabled Hindus to conduct post-death rites at the sea-side nearby before conducting prayers at the Temple. This unique aspect lies in the amalgamation of three Hindu temples namely – Sri Manmatha Karunaya Eswarar Temple, which was located at 249 Cantonment Road; Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple, which was located at the former Singapore Turf Club and Sri Palani Aandavar Shrine, which was located at Kranji.
Over the years, the Temple saw a steady increase in its devotee congregation. This was primarily due to the establishment of new public housing estates in Tampines, Pasir Ris and Simei.
In 2003, the Temple underwent a major renovation. Larger granite statues of the deities replaced the smaller ones and separate sanctums for each of the deities were erected. Statues of Lord Buddha and Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) were also installed to cater to the needs of the non-Hindu devotees who frequented the Temple. After the renovation works were completed in December 2004, a consecration ceremony was conducted in March 2005.
As the devotee congregation grew further, space constraint became evident. An appeal was made to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) for the expansion of the Temple. In October 2009, SLA granted the use of an additional 1,206 square metres of land adjoining the existing Temple.
The construction of the extension to existing Temple was completed in October 2012. An open, multi-purpose hall was built which is used for weddings, religious ceremonies and events, and houses the Temple’s administrative office, staff quarters and the kitchen. Major festivals and ceremonies observed at Sree Ramar Temple include Rama Navami, Hanuman Jayanthi, Navarathri Festival, Krishna Jayanthi, Sudarshana Yaagam and Chandi Yaagam. It also caters to the social and educational needs of the devotees by organising activities for children and families.