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Mandai Road, a two-way road, connects Woodlands Road to the junction of Upper Thomson Road and Sembawang Road. The road was paved in 1855 and is named after the Mandai tree. Located along this road are landmarks such as the Singapore Zoo and the Mandai Orchid Garden.
The name "Mandai" first appeared on the 1828 Franklin & Jackson's Plan of Singapore when a river called Mandai River was marked on it. The river probably got its name from a tree of the unid species called the Mandai tree. Mandai Road was laid out in 1855. It is a long road surrounded by green landscape on either side. A businessman Tan Kim Wah, mined tin at the 11th Mile Mandai Road in 1907, a rare record of tin being found in Singapore.
Military training units, SCDF Mandai Training Village and Nee Soon Camp, lie in the vicinity of the road. The road passes through a Nature Reserve within which the Singapore Zoological Gardens, Mandai Orchid Garden, Seletar Reservoir and Seleter Reservoir Park are located. Most of these places are reached by branches of Mandai Road. The Singapore Zoological Gardens, built in 1973, was designed by Chan Kui Chuan and is spread over 28 ha of thick woods. Designated one of the finest zoos in Southeast Asia, its biggest highlight is its unique style of display using open animal enclosures. Mandai Orchid Garden, built in 1960, is a privately-owned garden spread over four ha. of land. Both, the Singapore Zoological Gardens and the Mandai Orchid Garden, can be reached by Mandai Lake Road. The Seletar Reservoir, on Mandai Road itself, was constructed in 1969 whereas the Seletar Reservoir Park was constructed in 1973. Built by the Public Works Department, the reservoir is one of the largest water catchment areas in Singapore. The place is a frequent haunt for joggers, walkers and horse riders.
Orchidville, a private Orchid farm owned by the Phua brothers, is located off Mandai Road. It was opened in 1994 and is spread over 43 ha of land making it the largest orchid farm in Singapore. It is also home to a pub called Night Orchid Retreat. The Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex, off Mandai Road, underwent renovation work to the tune of S$63 million at the turn of the millennium to accommodate a new crematorium building and six columbaria blocks to house 79,000 additional niches for remains. Apart from a few private residential units in the vicinity of the road, a golf course called Executive Golf Course lies along the street. It was formerly called the Seletar Reservoir Park golf course. Built in 1992 by the Public Works Department at a cost of S$2 million, it is spread over 13 ha of land. Despite extensive development work in the recent years, Mandai Road still has a rural flavour, which makes walking or driving through it a delight.
Naidu Ratnala Thulaja
Dunlop, P. K. G. (2000). Street names of Singapore (pp. 203-204). Singapore: Who's Who Publications.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 DUN)
Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places (pp. 20, 44, 500). Singapore: Times Books International.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 EDW)
Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2003). Toponymics: A study of Singapore street names (p. 257). Singapore: Eastern Universities Press.
(Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV)
Orchid farm now also blooms as a party venue. (2002, December 27). The Straits Times, Money.
Mandai crematorium to get $63m expansion. (2002, February 5). The Straits Times, Singapore.
Work on Seletar Reservoir Park golf course begins.(1992, July 5).The Straits Times, p. 17.
The information in this article is valid as at 2003 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
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