Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sri Maha Marimamman - The Revival Of The Lost Temple

Extracts from The New Straits Times...

From Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Matang - 2011


KUCHING: It may not have the grandeur of Batu Caves Temple complex in Selangor, but Mount Matang Sri Mahamariamman Temple complex can lay claim to be the first Hindu temple built in Sarawak.
Located at the foothills of Mount Matang, the temple complex is also fascinating as it is made entirely of wood.

Although it is only about 45km from here, one needs to spend about 45 minutes hiking up the hill.

From Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Matang - 2011


The temple was originally built by Indian workers who were brought here to work on the coffee plantation run by the state government back in 1867, and later with Rajah Charles Brooke, who took over and switched to tea in 1897.
"The Indian workers brought a bronze deity when they arrived here but it was transferred to a temple in Batu Lintang when the tea estate was closed in 1912 due to poor harvest.

"The temple was abandoned for 55 years until it was rediscovered by a local villager who was hunting nearby,"said penghulu T. Komarusamy, in his 60s.

The title penghulu, or headman, was given to Komarusamy by the state government in recognition of his services to the 2,000-strong Indian community in Sarawak.

The temple was revived and consecrated in the 1980s.

Three years ago, a massive renovation costing RM500,000 was carried out, using wood harvested from the nearby forest.

Not far from the temple site are the remains of Brooke's bungalow, Valembrosa.

From Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Matang - 2011


From Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Matang - 2011


A consecration of the temple was held yesterday, witnessed by Works Deputy Minister Datuk Yong Khoon Seng and the grandson of the second white Rajah Charles Brooke, James Vyner Brooke, 68, who came all the way from England.

From Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Matang - 2011


"I am amazed and proud to be a part of Sarawak's diverse history.

"And I am also proud to know that the local communities here still appreciate what my grandfather and my great grandfather had done for Sarawak."

By Dennis Wong
dennis@nst.com.my
2011 June 06

4 comments:

Sargo said...

i went to the temple and its awesome....the path to the temple is quite tiring but im sure its worth enough.....it was raining heavily when we are coming back, i guess its some sort of blessings from God....its a life time chance and i grab it...i only wonder what is there in the charles brooke's bungalow...is the path safe enough??can people travel to there...there is no information on tat...wat is it actually?????

black charcoal said...

Hi Sargo, there is only minimum ground structure remained...I had not been to the site yet, will provide some information if available...

dhana7g said...

Hi Sargo, according to my dad, the bungalow has been dismanteled and the parts were used to built a school by some locals there. Some old Indian peeps know the way to go there, try to contact my dad for further info, MR Gregory Carmel, 016-8000 949. He may guide you on that. Dhana.

black charcoal said...

Thank you, Dhana...