TOUTED as the world’s first glass temple, the Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Temple along Jalan Tebrau in Johor Baru, has become an iconic tourist destination in the state.
The temple, which opened in October 2009, has been a big hit among tourists over the past few years, attracting both local and international tourists, especially from Japan, China and Hong Kong.
Its intricate design has also attracted Hindu devotees worldwide as about 90% of its walls, ceilings, domes and pillars are adorned with over a million pieces of imported colourful glass and mirrors.
Temple president S. Sinathambhy, said that the temple, which is one of the oldest in the country, underwent a massive renovation in 2008 that cost over RM2mil.
“Hopefully, the Glass Temple of Johor will attract more people from all over the world,’’ he said.
Sinathambhy added that the glass entrance of a temple in Thailand had influenced him to construct a full-glass temple. Besides plain glass, the glass used for the temple consists of blue, red, yellow, green and purple colours.
It was built on land awarded by the then Sultan of Johor in 1922 and renovated for the first time in 1996.
The wonder of the beautiful temple also captured the attention of movie director S. Vijayasekaran so much that he shot a dance scene there for his film Ranam, which was released in 2012.
“It is a truly remarkable temple and I wanted something unique to showcase to moviegoers.
“I have been inundated with calls from people in India who are curious about this temple,” he said.
Johor Tourism chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said that the state government has been widely promoting the temple through promotional materials.
The promotional efforts included distribution of pamphlets that were issued by the Tourism Department as well as on the department’s website.
“During work trips to India, we encouraged tourism agencies to highlight the glass temple in their tourism packages to attract more Indian nationals
“We have been also looking into parking woes near the area and setting up proper signboards to avoid road confusion among tourists,” he added.