Central Sikh Temple is the first Sikh gurdwara in Singapore
. Established in 1912, the temple had relocated several times before moving to its current site at Serangoon Road
at the junction of Towner Road and Boon Keng Road in the Kallang
Planning Area in 1986. The gurdrawa is the main place of worship for the 15,000 Sikhs in the country, and is also known as Wada Gurdrawa.
In 1849, after the British conquered the Indian state of Punjab, many Punjabis began to migrate overseas, to places such as Singapore. The British decided to recruit Sikh migrants as security forces in the Straits Settlements. Sikhs began to arrive in Singapore in 1881, to form a Sikh Contingent of the Straits Settlements police force.
Facilities and architecture
The temple houses 15,000 people and is meant to be the main religious and community temple of all the Sikh gurdwaras in the nation. The temple has a seven-storey slab tower where the community facilities are located, though the main facilities are at the Sikh Centre at Jalan Bukit Merah. The building was also awarded by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) Architectural Design Award for the entrance canopy/gateway in 1986.
Its religious facilities consist of a huge prayer hall, dining hall and a kitchen. The prayer hall is column-free, air-conditioned and fully carpeted, and the hall is placed under the 13m high dome. The second floor can accommodate 400 to 500 sitting and 1,500 standing people. The building is separated from the busy traffic along Serangoon Road by its three external sides, with a fourth internal wall that opens to a decorative pool. The dining hall and kitchen are located on the first floor and a sub-basement car park has 50 lots.
In the tower, there is a small dormitory, rooms for tourists, residences for up to four priests, a classroom for religious studies, a library and museum dedicated to articles books related to Sikhism, as well as administrative offices.
The building uses Sardinian pink granite, polished and flamed, and internally different ranges of marbles are used, including Perlato Royal, Sepergiante, Crema Marfil and Botticino. The 13m high dome is covered with white, grey and gold mosaics on the interior and white mosaic tiles on the exterior. The building is designed in modern form, except for its dome which has a traditional design.