Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, Melaka

Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, Melaka

Sri Poyatha Moorthi Temple is the oldest existing/intact Hindu temple in Malaysia and one of the oldest functioning Hindu temples in Maritime Southeast Asia.

The temple was built by Thavinayagar Chitty, the leader of the Chitty people, in 1781 after the Dutch colonial government of Malacca gave him a plot of land. The temple is dedicated to Vinayagar or Ganesha, the elephant deity. 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 Muruga, the younger brother of Lord Vinayagar.

The Dutch colonial government in Malacca granted the Chitty community a piece of land, in the heart of Malacca City in the 1780s. The temple was built up in the year 1781 according to the date mentioned in the Dutch grant (freehold title). The temple was under the trusteeship of the late Mr. Thaivanayagam Chitty, who was then a leader of the Chitty community.

The Malacca Chittys observe rituals, festivals and ceremonies, such as Thai Pongal, Madhu Pongal for those who rear cows, Kani Pongal especially for maidens, Deepavali, putting 'Kolams' and flowers during the month of Margali on the doorsteps, Kelemays Sarasvathi (Ahyutha poojas), Sivarathri, Egadesi, Amman Thiruviza, carrying of the Kavadis during the months of Thaipusam, Masimagam, Sithrai, Panguni Utharam, Adi matham prayers and the taking out of the Rathams (Religious Chariots) in procession for some festivals.

There are three Rathams made of wood with lovely carvings of Indian Deities, and dating back some 200 years. The Rathams are maintained in good condition and kept in the temple grounds. One Ratham is for Lord Ganesha, one for Lord Subramaniar Swamy, and one for Lord Rama Swamy. They are used during festive seasons drawn by bullocks and are lighted with decorative lamps making them look beautiful at night.

The 'Sri Muthu Mariamman Thiruvizha' festival during the Sitrai matham (April/May) is major celebration among the Chitty diaspora who are currently spread over Malaysia and Singapore.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple on Map

Sight Name: Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple
Sight Location: Melaka, Malaysia (See walking tours in Melaka)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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