The history of Sri Arasakesari Sivan Temple dates back to the early 20th century, when it was founded as a religious and social space for Ceylonese Tamils residing in the Woodlands area.
In 1924, Ceylonese Tamils established a shrine dedicated to Lord Siva and other Hindu deities on a plot of land along Woodlands Road near the Causeway. The land on which the shrine stood was then donated to the temple by a Johor Bahru resident named V Kathirasoo in 1966, and a brick temple was built in 1968. It was the only Hindu temple in Singapore to have a Lord Siva shrine under a Bo tree as well as a ceremonial pond, in which devotees could immerse themselves to receive blessings.
The temple relocated to its current Sungei Kadut site in 1997 to make way for industrial developments. As it was sited next to a canal (Sungei Pangsua), the architects covered up part of the waterway to create a larger temple compound for devotees. A new ceremonial pond was also built and devotees planted many saplings around the temple to create a “woodland” environment.
Today, Sri Arasakesari Sivan Temple serves as a worship and community space for all Hindus. Apart from well-known festivals such as Deepavali and the Tamil New Year, the temple is also known for Aadi Ammavasai (the No-Moon festival), during which devotees perform special prayers and offerings to ancestors, and Maha Sivarathiri (“Grand Night of Lord Siva” in Sanskrit), which honours Lord Siva during his cosmic dance of creation and destruction.
Other Suggested Short Trail Routes
Explore the Suggested Short Trail Routes:
- Communities of Woodlands, 1.5 hours with public transport (4km)
- Woodlands at War, 2 hours with public transport (9km)
- A Journey through the Woods, 1.5 hours on bike; 2.5 hours on foot with public transport (15km)
Woodlands Heritage Trail Booklet
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - English
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - Chinese
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - Malay
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - Tamil
Woodlands Heritage Trail Markers - Chinese
Woodlands Heritage Trail Markers - Malay
Woodlands Heritage Trail Markers - Tamil