Origin of the Name Singapore


Ever wondered where Singapore got its name from in the first place? There are many speculations and stories associated with the origin of the name ‘Singapore'. Adorning the southern tip of Malay Peninsula, this tiny southeast nation has carried forward a long trail of history with itself. And within the pages of history of Singapore, people and intellectuals have tried to work around the origins of the country's name. People came to know about Singapore for the first time when they read an article written about this island in Chinese dating back to the third century.

The article mentioned the name Singapore as "Pu - luo - chung'' meaning an "island at the end of the peninsula''. However, this article provided very little information on the history of Singapore and contradicted the glamorous past of Singapore. In the 14th century, Singapore became known to the world by the name of "Temasek" meaning "Sea Town" and was an integral part of the empire called the Shri Vijayan Empire.

It was referred to as the Sea Town for the reason that it was a meeting point for those who traveled by the sea and because all the sea routes merged there. Anyone visiting this popular destination will see that lions have a very central position. In fact, a lion is an important national symbol for this nation. Some English scholars did, in the end of the last century, introduce a theory claiming that Singapore is derived from Sanskrit word for lion, singha, and the word pura, meaning city. Malay history, the Sejara Malayu, also indicates a similar origin. Such theories and beliefs are many.

An interesting story that lies behind the name ‘Singapore' is that a prince named Malay Ammals mistook a creature for a lion and called the island "Singa Pura" which eventually became Singapore.

May be you could add to these theories and stories after your own first-hand experience in Singapore.

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