Sri Selva Vinayagar Temple
Spectacular octagonal architecture’s modern tribute to traditions
This temple is a testament to the thousands of Indian labourers who worked in the wharves, railway and factories of Prai. It emerged more than a century ago as a wooden attap shed structure where proletariat Hindu settlers worshipped the god Ganesh, also known as Vinayagar. It was earlier maintained by the Prai railway and port labourers.
Today its new building boasts a spectacular octagonal shape unveiled in December 2014. It stands grandly with seven gopurams (towers) including the rajagopuram (main tower) which are all painted gold. The main Vinayagar and Sakthi statues for worship are more than a century old.
Another highlight is the glass dome in the middle of the temple, allowing devotees and tourists to look straight above into the rajagopuram from within the temple. While the upper floor houses the main shrine, the ground floor consists of a multi-purpose hall that can accommodate up to 400 people.
Due to public road works, including the construction of an overhead bridge, the land between the road and the temple had been elevated, making the temple committee having to decide to rebuild it as a double-storey structure.