Merlion Park in Sentosa

Merlion Park is one of the tourist attractions in Singapore. Merlion is a half mermaid half lion figure and it’s a very well-known symbol 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” (literary 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.

According to historians at the end of the 4th century A.D, Temasek was destroyed by either the Siamese or Javanese. 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. Here he saw a strange looking beast (which he later learnt was a lion). Upon his landing he named the island Singapura which is compound Sanskrit word for Lion (Singa) and City (Pura), from which the name Singapore was derived.