Located in Penang’s ‘Little India’, in the capital city of Georgetown, the Sri Maha Mariamman temple reflects the city’s rich cultural heritage.
This tropical island of Penang, lies in the Indian Ocean, just off the north-west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Penang’s rapid growth as a trading hub in the early 1800s, especially in commodities such as nutmegs, cloves and pepper attracted traders from Europe, America, Arabia, India as well as China.
Each then established communities, and adopted lifestyles similar to their homeland. It was during this time that the Tamil Indians arrived in the island’s bustling harbour, and established their own ‘Little India’ community in the city.
Dating back as early as 1801, the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is recognised as an elaborate and spiritual place of worship.
Built originally as a shrine, it was later that the Indian community found a need for a proper temple ground for worshipping. This was to accommodate the ever increasing Indian community presence on the island. Hence, it was in 1833 that a proper temple was built and this is noted as the year the temple was founded.
Its intricate gopuram (sculpted wall tower), was decorated by skilled artisans from Southern India. Other parts of the temple are also adorned with statues of Hindu deities, sacred animals, colourful and stunning architecture turning it into one the most beautiful temples in Penang.
The deities worshipped here include Subramaniam, Durga, and Ganapathy which were elaborately crafted with skilled workmanship. There is also a priceless statue of Lord Subramaniam, adorned in gold, diamonds and emerald finery.
Throughout the years, the Sri Maha Mariamman temple has also been known by several names: Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple, Sri Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple. All these names refer to the same temple.
Prayers are usually conducted by the temple priests in the early morning and visitors may observe these prayer sessions taking place. If you wish to enter the Sri Maha Mariamman temple, it would be polite to ask permission beforehand from any of the priests.
Do remember to remove your shoes before entering the temple grounds.
The temple is open daily from 8.00 am – 12.00 noon and 4.30 pm – 9.00 pm.
How to get there:
Penang is about a 50 minutes’ flight away from Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia Airlines
On foot or taxi (when in Penang)
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is located in Central Georgetown on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Kling (Lebuh Pitt), in between Lebuh Pasar and Lebuh Chulia.
Contact the Penang Tourist Information Centre
Tel: +604 264 3494 / 263 4941