Sri Vanathandavar temple in Sungai Udang, Melaka made history by making into the Malaysian Book of Records by lighting up 170,000 clay lamps before 12 noon on the 1 January 2014.
The lighting of the lamps started at 6.30pm on the 31 December 2013. The temple committee had made arrangements to have devotees and volunteers to light up the lamps. The target was to light up 10,000 lamps every hour and complete it within 17 hours.
The event was held to celebrate the coming of the New Year and to raise funds to build a new temple. The committee of the temple were seeking a donation of RM 2 for each lamp lighted but anyone can light as many lamp as they wished.
According to the President ex major Segar and vice president Nadarajan this temple was started by the Nepalese soldiers of the commonwealth regiment in 1960 and was maintained by them until the 70’s. When the Nepalese left the temple was abandoned for sometime.
Then the Indian civilians of Sg Udang took over the temple which was 10’x10′ and 4 pole structure temple and was surrounded by the jungle. Since the temple was surrounded by the jungle the temple was named Vanathandavar Temple deriving from the word vanam which means jungle. As there were few indian civilians there they could not maintain the temple. During that time there were 2 Ranger Regiments station in Sg Udang and there were many Indians solders in the regiments. The president at that time was Panniker and decided to hand over the management of the temple to the army personnel’s and until today they are managing the temple. The temple committee managed to buy over the land and with the help of the army a proper temple was built at the cost of RM 45,000 in the 80’s.
Now after 30 years the present committee wants to build a better temple which may cost RM 1.5million.
One of the unique problem standing in their way is a nest where a snake is supposed to nest. According to the Gurukals (chief priest) they have seen a snake that has come to the altar of the old temple and goes of without harming anyone. So when the old temple was demolished the nest was not disturbed.The present committee will hold a AGM to solve this problem before commencing to build the temple.
On the 31st Dec 2013 and 1 Jan 2014 saw about 5,000 visitors and devotees coming to the temple. One such person is Inderjit Singh who came from Port Dickson to get blessing from this temple. The couple has been childless for some time. The event also were attended by Nepalese ladies.
With today’s event the committee hopes to raise enough funds to build the new temple. The committee is also proud that they achieved to make it into the Malaysia Book of Records for lighting 170,000 clay lamps in 15 hours.