Merlion Park

The Merlion is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, that is used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore. The choice of the Merlion as a symbol for Singapore has its roots in history. The Merlion commemorates the ancient name and the legend taken from the ‘Malay Annals’ (literacy and historical work from the 15th or 16th century) explaining how Singapore received its present name.
In ancient times, Singapore was known as Temasek which is Javanese for the sea. It was then, as it is today, a center of trade. At the end of the 4th century A.D., Temasek was destroyed by the Siamese, according to some historians, but by the Javanese according to others. As recorded in the legend in the Malay Annals, Prince Nila Utama of the Sri Vijaya empire rediscovered the island later in the 11th century A.D. Upon his landing on the island, he saw a strange beast moving very swiftly and was later told it was a lion, thus he named the island Singapura which is a Sanskirt word for Lion (Singa) City (Pura). The Merlion, with its fish-like body riding the waves of the sea, is symbolic of the ancient city of Temasek. At the same time, its majestic head recalls the legend of the discovery of Singapore by Prince Nila Utama.
Only five Merlions in Singapore are recognised by Singapore Tourism Board
• The 8.6-metre tall original statue at Merlion Park
• The 2-metre tall cub standing behind the original statue
• The 37-metre gigantic replica with The Mouth Gallery Viewing Deck on the ninth storey and another viewing gallery on its head at Sentosa Island
• The 3-metre tall glazed polymarble statue at Tourism Court
• The 3-metre tall polymarble statue placed at Mount Faber’s Faber Point
In addition, a recognised Merlion statue is found at the Merlion Restaurant in Cupertino in California, USA

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