The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India and kavadis at a Thaipusam procession

Located at the junction of Belilios Road and Serangoon Road in the historic Little India district, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is believed to be the first Hindu temple in Singapore to be dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Kali. In 1855, Tamil labourers working at the lime kilns along Kampong Kapor decided to erect a shrine dedicated to Kali at the site where the temple now stands. By the late 19th century, a wooden temple had replaced the shrine and this structure was in turn redeveloped over the years to become the present temple building. Other temples in Singapore devoted to Kali include: the Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple also in Little India; the Sri Mariamman Temple in Chinatown; the Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple in Toa Payoh; and the Sri Ruthrakaliamman Temple in Telok Blangah.There are various kavadis that devotees carry during Thaipusam, a festival Hindus celebrate to worship Lord Murugan, a son of Shiva. Known as a burden, the kavadi shown in this Thaipusam procession (right) involves piercing the body with spikes and metal hooks. A devotee must prepare himself spiritually before bearing a kavadi, living a life of abstinence while keeping to a strict vegetarian diet for a month before the festival.