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Devotees gather at Little India for Hindu temple consecration

Some 50,000 devotees gathered at Little India on Sunday morning for the consecration of one of Singapore's iconic Hindu temples.

SINGAPORE: Some 50,000 devotees gathered at Little India on Sunday morning for the consecration of one of Singapore's iconic Hindu temples.

The morning rain did not dampen their spirits as devotees turned up as early as 7am in umbrellas for the ceremony at the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.

The ceremony is done once every 12 years, and symbolises the rejuvenation of the temple.

The temple is reopening after almost two years of renovations with a new wedding hall among its upgraded facilities.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam graced the event along with members of parliament for the area, including Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew and Denise Phua.

Mr Tharman, who is also finance minister, said: "The temple has been a very active community partner and you would notice that on a daily basis, apart from the Hindus who come here to practise their faith, there are many others who see the temple and all our Hindu temples as part and parcel of Singapore life. It is part of the rhythm of the Singapore society."

In preparation for the ceremony, the entire stretch of Serangoon Road was blocked off since Saturday evening.

Mr Lui, who is MP for Moulmein-Kallang GRC, said it is important for the consecration ceremony to be "organised properly".

"Based on the estimate that (there) would be at least 50,000 coming through the course of the morning and the day, we decided that it was the right thing to do to close Serangoon Road for this very important occasion," he said. 

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