Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore


Singapore. Hindu Temple. South Bridge Road.
1900s

Google Street View.

The Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple. It is an agamic temple, built in the Dravidian style. Located at 244 South Bridge Road, in the downtown Chinatown district, the temple serves the majority Hindu Singaporeans, Tamilians, in the city-state. . . . By 1827, Naraina Pillai had built a simple temple made of wood and attap. In the same year, he installed Sinna Amman, a small representation of the goddess Mariamman, in the temple. Mariamman is a rural South Indian mother goddess who is especially worshipped for protection against diseases. According to the Hindu Endowments Board, the current managers of the temple, the existing deity in the principal shrine of the temple is the original installed by Pillai in 1827. As is the common practice, the temple is named after its principal deity. The temple was also known to devotees over the years as the Sithi Vinayagar and Gothanda Ramaswamy Mariamman Temple or, more simply, Mariamman Kovil (kovil being the Tamil word for temple). . . . The original three-tiered gopuram (entrance tower) was constructed in 1903. It was slimmer and less richly embellished than the current tower. The sides of the tower also appeared to be more stepped than sloping. Nonetheless, it had an iconic presence in Chinatown, and was a widely recognised landmark. The present six-tiered gopuram was built in 1925. It was repaired and restored with an elaborate proliferation of sculptures in the 1960s.
Wikipedia.

It’s the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, dating back to 1827.
The old foundations of the present-day edifice were built in 1843.
The temple was built for use by immigrants from South India.
The temple is dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, known for curing illnesses and diseases.
Chinatownology

Sri Mariammam Hindu temple is almost as old as Singapore itself. In 1827 the clerk Naraina Pillay, who came in the same ship as Stamford Raffles years earlier, erected a wood and atap hut on this site. Later in 1843 the present temple was constructed and dedicated to the goddess Mariamman who is worshipped for her power to cure disease (early Singapore was mostly jungle, so disease was rampant). The temple is built in the south Indian Dravidian style similar to Sri Meenakshi in Madurai, India.
Asian Historical Architecture (includes plan)

Chinese Theatre Hall, Singapore


The Chinese Theatre Hall, Singapore,
c.1910

The Chinese Theatre Hall at Eu Tong Sen Street was known as the Heng Wai Sun Theatre Hall. After 1922, it was known as Sing Phing Theatre Hall.
National Archives of Singapore

Some web site put the theatre Near or next to the old Thong Chai Medical Institution, which is located here (Google Maps). National Library Board of Singapore has a photo captioned “This is a photograph of shoppers walking past the square bounded by People’s Park Complex (right) and the 10-storey OG Building (left) in Chinatown. OG Building housed the OG Department Store and was built on the site of Heng Wai Sun Theatre (1930s),” which seems to be about here. While both locations are in the same general area of Eu Tong See Street, they’re about 400 metres apart. Maybe one day someone who actually knows will came by and fix it.

From Wikipedia:
Eu Tong Sen Street is named after the tycoon, Eu Tong Sen who was a miner, rubber estate and a property owner. He was one of the richest men in Malaya and Singapore, and was born in Penang, Malaya in 1877. He set up a bank known as Lee Wah Bank which catered to the Cantonese, but was merged with the United Overseas Bank due to financial issues. The road was formerly part of the expunged Wayang Street, and it received its present name in 1919 as he rebuilt the street and acquired two Chinese opera theatres, known as Heng Seng Peng and Heng Wai Sun.

If that’s the road construction shown on the postcard, then it might c.1920, but that seems a bit late.

Rochor River, Singapore


The Rochor River, Singapore

No dating clues but about 1910.


Malay sampan and boys, Singapore. 

About 1910.

These two cards show the same part of the river (The buildings at the back on the left of the top card are the same as those on the right of the lower card.)

Rochor River is a canalised river in Kallang of the Central Region in Singapore. The river is about 0.8 km in length. Rochor River is a continuation of the Rochor Canal, and begins beneath Victoria Bridge and empties into the Kallang Basin.
Wikipedia

Before the development of land infrastructure, boats and river transport played the role in transportation of goods. Bumboats did not only ply the well-known Singapore River and the quays. They also plied other water bodies like the Kallang River, Rochor River and Rochor Canal for transport purposes. Rochor Canal is a continuation of a canal that begins from as far as the Bukit Timah area, its water source. Officially, only the section after the Kandang Kerbau Bridge is named Rochor Canal. It continues along the aptly named Rochor Canal Road and ends at Victoria Bridge, where it continues as Rochor River. It is one of five waterways that empties into the Marina Reservoir.

Rochor Canal gave rise to one of the earliest industries in Little India – cattle trade. The natural pasture fed by the waters of the Rochor Canal suited cattle trade. Many streets in Little India are named after this cattle trade legacy, such as Belilios Road (named after a prominent cattle trader), Buffalo Road, Desker Road (named after an abbatoir merchant), and Kerbau Road (kerbau means cattle in Malay). Kandang Kerbau means buffalo or cattle pen in Malay. The growth of cattle trade fuelled other industries. The first municipal incinerators were constructed off Jalan Besar and later, more municipal abbatoirs were built. Along the canal were rubber factories, ice works, and markets for used goods.
Rochor Canal as a Historic Waterway

Rochor River (modern photos and a map)