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304 North Cardinal St.
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Holy Tree Sri Balasubramaniar Temple

location: 10 Yishun Industrial Park

The Holy Tree Sri Balasubramaniar Temple has a unique history, dating back to 1962 when it was established as a small shrine near Canberra Road. The temple later became an important religious and social space for the Hindu community in the former Sembawang Naval Base, which included Tamils from Tamil Nadu and Malayalees from Kerala.

The founder of the temple, P. Karuppiah, was a dockyard worker who dreamt of Lord Murugan and a golden cobra under an elantha (jujube) tree. He found the tree from his dream near Canberra Road and set up an altar beneath it. Hindu dockyard workers began to pray at this altar and later built a wooden shed to house the shrine.

The shrine was registered as Punithamaram Sree Balasubramaniar Temple in 1964. Punithamaram means "Holy Tree" in Tamil, while Sree Balasubramaniar is a title of Lord Murugan. Devotees later raised funds to build a proper temple, which was consecrated in March 1971. When the area around Canberra Road was being redeveloped, the temple relocated to its present site in 1996. The temple was rebuilt, and the current building was consecrated in 2018.

Today, Holy Tree Sri Balasubramaniar Temple continues to serve the Hindu residents of Sembawang and Yishun. It is also known for organising Panguni Uthiram, an annual festival in which devotees take part in a chariot and foot procession to commemorate the marriage of Lord Murugan and his consort Deivanai.

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