Monday, October 25, 2010

Sri Balathandayuthabani Temple Waterfall Road,Penang

The present Bala Thandayuthapani Temple began as a shrine of Lord Murugan. It was located at the base of the waterfall at the Botanical Gardens Penang sometime before 1782. The above statement was the evident from the writings of Sir Francis Light where in it was stated that the Tamils (Chulias and Chettiars) were already present and worshipping the Vel (spear) when he named Georgetown on the 10th of August 1786 after having the island from the Sultan of Kedah for 6000 Spanish dollars for the East India Company. It is not possible to know who installed the vel at the original temple site . Soon this shrine became important for many Indian workers who came to Georgetown. By 1800 the shrine seemed to have been the focus of Thaipusam celebration, a festival dedicated to Lord Murugan. British records and local newspapers do mention of Hindu devotees celebration the festival. In 1850 with the increase of the local population, the British authorities decided to develop the area into a reservoir. They decided that the waterfall area and the immediate catchment area had to be protected. At the same time they did not want to upset the the Hindu population. Therefore, they alienated an eleven acre hillside property(the present site) for the location of a proper temple. This is the present site of the Hill Top Murugan temple at Waterfall Road and the presents temple as it now was build sometime in 1850.The present temple is now too small to accommodate the number of devotees who visits the temple during festivals.The major annual festivals celebrated at the temple are Thaipusam,Chitra Pournami,Kantha Sasti,Peria Karthigai and Aadi Pournami. Due to this,it is now difficult to perform worship rituals effectively and for devotees to perform their prayers.Moreover the present location of the temple makes it difficult for crowd management as there is no place for devotees to rest.The Penang Hindu Endowments Boards after taking serious consideration to build a new temple, conducted a feasibility study to build a new temple at the present site. The consultant found that the present temple is located over an area where several underground springs flow. Their conclusion was for the temple to be relocated to a safer site away from the present location. The Hindu Endowments Board after considering the various reports, agreed with the management committee's view that a new temple had to be built at a safer site for the following reasons:-

* The present temple is too small to accommodate the ever-growing number of devotees,which swells up to 700,000 during the Thaipusam Festival.

* That due to natural streams flowing below the present temple the safety of the present structure is the main concern.

The present temple having been built sometimes in 1850 has been ravagned by the weather.The temple structure is weakened and leaks have sprung in many areas. Piecemeal repairs have been periodically conducted, but these repairs cannot address the inherent weakness of the structures. The Temple Management Commitee then decided to consult a well-known authority on agamic rules and procedures for the building of the Temple. A delegation went to Tamil Nadu in February 2000. They met His Holiness, Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamiji, and the 69th Pontiff of the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. He gave his blessings to delegation members seek the services of world renowned temple architect and Vaastu expert Dr.V.Ganapati Sthapati.T he plans and earthwork drawings for the new temple were submitted to the relevant authorities and approval was abtained in the beginning of 2006. Earthworks commenced on 03-02-2006. The total estimated costs for the completion of the temple is Five Million Ringgit. The high cost is mainly due to constuction being conducted on hilly terrain. The proposed site would be on a 2 acre plot, whereby the proposed built up area of the Temple would be 35000 sq feet. The proposed 2 acre site would be sufficient for any future development. The Building Committee is now on a nationwide drive to collect donations from devotees and well-wishers to rebuild the oldest temple in Malaysia. In this I seek your kind donations to help makes this project a success. All donations and contributions are tax exempt and The Building Committee shall send you an official receipt for your contributions.

All cheques are to be made payable to "Hill-Top Murugan Temple Fund"
Kindly forward your donations to:
The Secretariat Hill-Top Murugan Temple Fund No.1-F
2nd Floor,Penang Street, 10200 Penang

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