The Umbilo Shree Ambalavaanar Alayam Temple is also known as the Second River Temple.
The First River Temple, built along the banks of the Umbilo River, near Bayhead in 1875, was the 1st Hindu Temple in Africa.
It was washed away by floods in 1905 / 1906. Another temple was built on the same site, but had to make way for the freeway. Part of the temple is still buried underneath the freeway as it was filled with sand.
The original murtis or deities from the 1st River Temple was moved and is now housed in the Umbilo Shree Ambalavaanar Alayam Temple / Second River Temple, a Shiva Temple situated at 890 Bellair Road, Cato Manor that was built in 1946. The Second River Temple was declared a national monument in 1980.
The Umbilo Temple was the first to start fire walking, which takes place annually in March.
The Hindu Gods or Trinity are Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Inside the Temple, all visitors are equal.
Everybody’s welcome to visit the Second River Temple, but a dress code needs to be adhered to; this means that women need to wear long skirts / dresses and shoes are removed.