The History Of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevastanam

The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam has an interesting history. It was founded by the late Kayarohanam Pillai Thamboosamy Pillai in 1873, one of the pioneer leaders of the Indian community in colonial Malaya.

Born in 1850 in Singapore and educated at the Raffles Institution, Mr. K. Thamboosamy Pillai gained popularity and prominence through the course of his work as an interpreter and Assistant with the then senior lawyer, JG Davidson. His work took him to Kuala Lumpur, Malaya and during this course he discovered that a large number of Indians from South India had settled in a neighboring state called Selangor. Being a Hindu devotee, he decided to build a small worship house for the Hindu deity of protection known as Mariamman. He built this worship house at river bank in Selangor (where the present Bangunan Pertanian is located).

In 1875, the Kuala Lumpur railway authorities offered an alternative site for Mr. K. Thamboosamy’s worship house as they wanted an extension to their goods yard. With the permission of then Sultan Selangor, a small ‘attap’ temple was built in Jalan Bandar, Kuala Lumpur (presently known as Jalan Tun HS Lee). The Sultan of Selangor demarcated the temple land as ‘Land for the Indian Community’.

Mr. K. Thamboosamy Pillai was a visionary man. In 1888, he transformed the ‘attap’ temple into a brick building with the support from the local community. People from all walks of life donated generously towards the temple building project. Mr. K. Thamboosamy Pillai became the first “Stanigar” (founder) of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam in Malaysia.

The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam is administered by a group of learned and prominent Hindu devotees after the demise of the founder Sri K. Thamboosamy Pillai in 1902. On 5th September 1928, a religious body was established to bring all the charitable organizations and the Mariamman Temple under this fold for a proper management and control. This case was submitted to the Supreme Court through civil action in 1928. After a long deliberation, the Selangor Supreme Court established the Religious Charity known as the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Kuala Lumpur. Based on the Court order dated 28th November 1930, the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, the Sri Ganesar Temple, Old Pudu Road and Sri Subramaniaswamy Temple Batu Caves came under the administration of the Board of Management of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam.

It was in this temple premises that the Malaysian Indian Congress Party (MIC) was first founded by the late Sri Sir John A. Theviry, a prominent lawyer from Ipoh, Perak along with his close associates.

Batu Caves had the great honour to receive Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein during the 2009 Thaipusam festival. This is the first visit by a Prime Minister of Malaysia to Batu Caves

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