Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple
The history of the Temple began more than 150 years ago – in the 1850s – with the discovery of a statue of Lord Vinayagar by the side of a pond. A Chempaka tree, Senpaga in Tamil, stood on the bank of the pond and gave the identifying element to the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple. A Ceylon Tamil, Mr Ethirnayagam Pillai pioneered the building of the first structure, a modest shelter with an attap roof with the help of Indian workers. This humble abode under the Chempaka tree became the temple of Sri Senpaga Vinayagar.
In 1909, the Ceylon Tamils who had grown in number to about 300 families, formed the Singapore Ceylon Tamils’ Association (SCTA). In 1913, a Management Committee of four persons was formed to renovate the premises for the ever growing number of devotees. In 1923, the SCTA assisted the Temple by purchasing the land on which the Temple stands today in 1923. A bigger Temple subsequently emerged with a priest (a pandaram) to initiate prayers (poojas) and other religious ceremonies.
During the Second World War, a bomb damaged the Temple. Restoration began in 1949 under the Chairmanship of Dr. P. Thillainathan and six years later on 7 July, 1955, devotees witnessed another Consecration Ceremony. Periodic upgrading of the Temple resulted in the addition of new halls, kitchens, classrooms, a perimeter wall, a wedding dias, and a library. On 8 November, 1989, the then Senior Minister, Mr S Rajaratnam declared open the three storey extension with an air-conditioned wedding and dining hall