A Temple built by the elite and wealthy pioneer community known as the Chettiars - who are bankers and property owners; commonly called money lenders; they loaned money to small entrepreneurs they are staunch devotees of the deity Murugan. Contributed to the economic prosperity of early Singapore and the Republic of Singapore

The Chettiars are Tamils who originated from South India and migrated to Singapore in the early 19th century to become 'bankers' here. They bought landed property in Tank Road and River Valley Road. Names of roads named after Chettiars are still seen there: Muthuraman Chetty Road, Arnasalem Chetty Road. Others include Meyapa Chettiar Road in Potong Pasir. Most of their offices were and some still are in Market Street.

Such a large number of Tamil businessmen lived in a street close to Raffles Place that the Colonial government named the street Chulia Street which means the Street of the Indians. Devout worshippers of the deity Thandayuthapani or Murugan the Chettiars have build two temples in Singapore, one in Tank Road, and the other in Kreta Ayer. In every Chettiar community there is a Murugan shrine or Temple.

The Thandayuthapani Temple in Tank Road was build in April 1859 and has been renovated periodically. The main tower or 'Rajagopuram' is new and was consecrated on 24 November 1983. A wedding hall adjoining the Temple was completed at the same time.

The Temple is Saivite, that is, it is dedicated to Shiva one of the Hindu Trinity and Hindus over the centuries have looked upon their deities as constituting a family: Shiva as father, Parvathi as mother, elder son is Ganesha and the younger is Murugan who depicts the five senses and the searching mind. Murugan carries a 'vale' a long spear to symbolise Murugan as the destroyer of all evil forces.

The major festival held annually is this Temple is Thaipusam when 'kavadis' are carried by devotees of Murugan. 'Kavadis' are in various forms. Elaborate ones contain skewers that pierce the bodies of the devotees and needles that pierce their tongue or cheeks. The devotees fast and abstain from sensual pleasure in a test of their resolve to seek self-perfection. Devotees carry 'kavadis' to fulfill an oath taken and as a penance. For Hindus none can absolve their sins except the sinners themselves.

Devotees who carry 'kavadis' begin their journey from the Vishnu Temple in Serangoon Road and end in the Thandayuthapani Temple where the skewers are removed.

Before World War II the Chettiar community celebrated Thaipusam with fireworks at the Esplanade.

The Chettiars were bankers in early Singapore. Businessmen, merchant and traders who needed capital borrowed from these Chettiars because regular banks would not lend then the money. People of all ethnic groups borrowed from Chettiars. One major difference between established banks in early Singapore and the Chettiars was this: the Chettiars loaned money without any collateral. In this sense the Chettiars have made a valuable contribution to the economy of Singapore.