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Narainsamy Temple, Inanda Road, Newlands9/2/412/0009

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Post date: 07/08/2012
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History: The Narainsamy Temple, Newlands, was founded by one Narainsamy in 1896. It is controlled by a family trust created by him. The designer and builder of the temple was Kristappa Reddy, whose main contribution to temple architecture was this temple with its finely decorated spire and prominent pyramid-shaped dome, which was built from 1906 to 1908. The chief deities of. the tcrn are Vishnu, Siva, Ganesh, Soobramaniar and the Nauw Graha.

The Narainsamy Temple was the third which was designed by Kristappa Reddy (probably South Africa’s finest temple designer) and built during 1906/1908. The temple has no enclosing wall to isolate its precincts although it is probable that one was originally envisaged by Reddy.
The designer and builder of the temple was Kristappa Reddy, born in north Arcott, India, who came to Natal in 1898 as an indentured labourer. Shortly after his arrival he was commissioned to build various temples. Reddy’s main contribution to temple architecture was the Narainsamy Temple constructed in accordance with ancient Indian traditions regarding its site, proportions and. decoration. Reddy had detailed knowledge of these traditions and this enabled him to build a temple with a striking, finely decorated spire, and a prominent pyramid shaped dome. The whole is embellished with roof carvings and attractively designed outer wails This building, sacred to the memory of Vishnu, is a jewel of Indian architecture in Natal.
Visual Description: The temple, which stands on a ridge north of the Umgeni river near Durban, has a prominent white spire visible from a great distance. The whole building is finished in white, in contrast to many others which are decorated in various colours. The stucco modelling and elaborate detail of the steeple and domes rise up from a classical and comparatively simple pedestal. Above the frieze are two more storeys of diminishing size, dominated by mandala motifs on the four sides and corners. Above the main entrance is a decorative feature made up of three arched panels which form a short parapet to the flat roof of the hall, and. it has two small stucco figures standing at either end. On the left hand side of the porch, which is south of the main hail, is a statue of a vole and on the right hand side of the porch is a statue of a peacock. In front of the porch, in direct line we find the Gavuda, Kodi and at the end the Ballyburum (naval), which is a small circular stone placed on a pedestal.
At the northern end of the main hall (mandabulum), are three image cells of Narainsamy, Ganesta and Surbahmanya, attached. The openings have jamb linings but no doors. In the west wall is an opening leading into a large cell (nataraja). On the right hand side of the main entrance of the mandabulum, is a small raised platform, about eighteen inches high, for ablutions.
The interior of the temple is also painted white, as the lime-washed exterior, and provides an atmosphere of austere simplicity. Across the entrances to the image cells, hangs strips of scarlet chillies and on the walls are highly coloured lithographs depicting the Hindu pantheon.
The temple has many other interesting little architectural details and in the way the building has been set out and the way the decoration has been added, gives the temple a personality which is found only in freehand.
The Narainsarny Temple, Newlands, was founded by Narainsamy in the year 1896 and it is now controlled by a family trust created by him. Most of the members of the congregation are drawn from the Tamil section of the Hindu community.
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Site Features: In front of the porch, in direct line are the Gavuda, Kodi and at the end the Ballyburum (naval), which is a small circular stone placed on a pedestal.
Condition: Fair
Construction Date: 1906-1908
Materials: brick :
Catalogue: Kearney, 1984, No: , Significance Category:

Directions:
From N2 north take off-ramp to M21, Inanda Road, and turn left to head inland. The Temple is on the
 
 

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