Sree Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Temple
Aesthetic masterpiece and solace for thousands
Instantly drawing attention with its spectacularly ornate gopuram or tall entrance tower, this 19th century Hindu temple, the oldest in Butterworth, has a history that is as intriguing and colourful as its architecture.
It is said that the temple originated in 1853 when someone found the idol of the principal deity Amman, or the divine mother in Hinduism, by the seaside. This was then taken and placed in a specially built hut, before a temple building was constructed to house it in 1903.
The temple provided spiritual solace for tens of thousands of workers who were away from their families in India, while being employed at the port, railway and plantations in and around Butterworth.
There are multitudes of picturesque sculptures adorning the interior and exterior of the complex, each representing significant scenes from ancient Hindu mythology. Indeed, perched at the very front of the temple is an imposing sculpture of the sun-god Surya riding his sky-chariot driven by seven horses.
The temple is located at the junction of Jalan Jeti Lama and Jalan Pasar. The Theemithi festival which features fire-walking and chariot processions is observed over a week around June.
Note that Hindu temples generally close after noon and reopen at 5:30pm.