Exploring Isipingo’s Mariamman Temple, One of South Africa’s First Temples

SOUTH AFRICA, October 26, 2020 : The Isipingo Marieamman Temple was established in 1870 by Narainsamy Moodley, an Indian indentured laborer who carried a Marieamman Murthi with him in his journey from India to South Africa. When the sugar barons noticed the large numbers of devotees that would gather on the banks of the river, they allocated land to Moodley to build the temple. Since then, the annual trek of the popular Easter Prayer attracts thousands of devotees from around the world.

The Mariamman Temple was a privately owned temple built by Mr. Narainsamy in the early 1860s. It is said to be built over a puthu or a mount that is believed to be a home of a sacred snake Goddess that is a form of Mother Marieamman. For Hindus, forming a temple on these sites is believed to be an auspicious event. The temple at Isipingo was taken over by the wife of Narainsamy and his son when he died in 1914. In this week’s 1860 feature, Newsbreak spoke to Nariansamy’s great-grandson Sugan Moodley, listen to the SABC Newsbreak podcast at “source” above.