Clairwood Shree Siva Soobramoniar Temple (est 1889)
Ever since the Indians migrated to this subcontinent in the 1860 , our people coming as they did from a land of high culture and religious observance and imbued with a desire to satisfy their spiritual yearning made from great effort to establish places of worship and to follow the practices and usages that were carried in their motherland. Evidence of this was seen through the province of Natal in particular wherever Indians were employed and resided. While these places of worship may have been of simple crude construction , the devotional aspects were admirable indeed. They believed in the theory of living influenced by spiritual ideologies. Most of these original Indians were from the madras presidency and the central provinces, hence they belonged to the Hindu Community and followed the traditions of the Hindus. The origin and development of places of worship in this area was almost the development of Indian culture in this land.
The Clairwood area as it is now styled was once known as Wood place and Bob place and were inhabited by people who followed an agricultural pursuit as free Indians after terminating their contracted services. In the year 1889 some leading people realising the need of places of worship decided to pursue this course for it’s a practice amongst our people according to “Avvayaar”not to live in places where there are no temples , thus one devoted and spiritual minded person in the name of Arumuga Paradassi conceived a brilliant idea and established a Velu (Gold Spear) indicating the weapon of Shri Muruga in order to start regular services of worship. This was done on a , piece of open ground in wood place, also known as Bob place, thus a place of worship had begun. Services were continued under some sort of shelter, though premature it may be there were devout followers of Hinduism. Services and religious festivities were carried on and people co-operated with him. Eventually in 1915 a committee was instituted and office bearers were elected. In order to give impetus and develop the temple ideologies and they continued vigorously to carry out the functions of the temple and accumulated funds which enabled them to acquire a piece of ground in the 1919 in Sirdar Road , Clairwood under the name of the Madras Temple. The first trustees were elected and thus a further stage had been reached in the early days of this temple. The functions of the temple continued and the cooperation of the people were so automatic that the activities were of high order and Chariots , Kavadies, Amman Gargams and other incidental practices were embarked upon.
In this way the people became enlightened to throw in their forces in support of the temple work. During this period there was no constructional progress although funds were being accumulated and this gave rise to differences of views as to the future developments and others were very enthusiastic and co-operated with a view to make substantial improvement and to plan the erection of a permanent temple on the piece acquired in Sirdar Road. However this did not materialise during the term of office of the present officials. At that stage the Indian population of the area increased tremendously and the congregation grew larger and larger.
In the year 1919, the first move of the committee was to transfer the existing temple to its new place in Sirdar Road and to rename the temple as the Shree Siva Soobramoniar Temple. A quick move was made to raise sufficient funds in cash and kind to start building operations in Sirdar road. Donations in cash and kind were pouring in through special efforts of the people and the main temple was completed , other community members gave of their services free of charge. The officials continued with the building programmes and completed the other subsidiary temple, including the Drobathy Ammen temple . Soon after this various prominent people in the district of Clairwood donated idols which are still in the temple up to this day.
Immediately after the completion of the temple work the committee made a bold move to erect a very large hall to hold social functions and for the benefit of the devotees . The residents willingly contributed towards the erection of this hall. The committees was admired for its efforts in conducting festivals and services associated with the temple.
Ever since the Temple was transferred to Sirdar Road under the designation of Shree Siva Soobramoniar Temple various additions and improvements have taken place to enhace the surroundings and uplift the spirituality of devotees. We have been in existence for one hundred and twenty six years we pay tribute to the founders and pioneers of the temple who have crossed the great beyond for their vision and foresight and its many administrators , some of whom dedicated their services in the sphere of cultural and spiritual development for the community at large.The Clairwood Shree Siva Soobramoniar Temple stands as a monument and tribute to all those dedicated men and women who have given of their services freely and voluntarily in the name of Lord Muruga. The Indian community is certainly proud of their contribution and owes them an eternal debt.
We salute you for all the hard work and effort put in, may this temple continue to serve the people for the many years to come.
From the late 1930s the hall hosted many weddings at affordable prices and many prominent people married here. There was a dire need to upgrade and renovate the temple hall , various fund raising initiatives together with sponsors and donations from various devotees saw a newly erected ultra modern hall being built in 2005. This hall is equipped as a beautiful air conditioned hall that caters for weddings, Nelengus, Funerals and ceremonies at various affordable packages as well as the Amman temple which services people that cannot afford a full package wedding and offer very reasonable rates for an Amman wedding, please visit our website.
Information provided by the Temple.
- Address: 122 Sirdar Rd, Durban, 4052, South Africa
- Tel: 031 465 0671 / 071 859 6616
- Times: Monday – Sunday (6am-6pm)
- tours please arrange for a bookings in advance.