Thursday, February 09, 2012

History: Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple

The front view of Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple

Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple is the first and oldest Hindu temple in Malaysia. It is located on Jalan Tokong, or Temple Street, in Melaka, within walking distance of the Kampung Kling Mosque and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple. 

The temple was built in the 1781 by the Hindu community of Melaka, and dedicated to Vinayagar or Ganesha, the Elephant deity. 

The Elephant deity, Ganesha

In the back room is a sculpture of the deity with the head of an elephant and the body of a man with four hands. There is another altar dedicated to Lord Muraga, the younger brother of Lord Vinayagar.

The temple stand of land donated by a Melaka Kapitan (headman) by the name of Thaivanayagam Chitty. Sri Poyyatha is a Hindu temple standing on the same street as Kampung Kling's Mosque and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple. The coexistence of these 3 distinct faiths is a testament to the religious pluralism of Melaka.