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Kek Lok Si Temple
The Kek Lok Si Temple is a Buddhist temple situated in Air Itam, Penang, Malaysia. It is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. It is also an important pilgrimage centre for Buddhists from Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia.
The temple’s construction began in 1893, inspired by Beow Lean, the chief monk of the Goddess of Mercy Temple at Pitt Street. The Manchu Emperor Guangxu approved of the project, bestowing a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras. Other Chinese rulers, such as His Majesty Emperor Kuang Xi and Empress Cixi of the Ching Dynasty, have been sufficiently impressed with the temple so as to have bestowed the temple with gifts.
Pagoda of Rama VI
Its main draw is the striking seven-storey Pagoda of Rama VI (Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas), completed in 1930. Boasting 10,000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha, its design symbolises the harmony between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, marrying a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, topped by a Burmese crown. One can climb to the top of the pagoda via a steep flight of stairs and be rewarded with a great view of Penang.
Sacred Turtle Pond
The grounds of the Kek Lok Si temple are a beautiful and tranquil array of flowers and grand trees giving shade to those who walk along the garden paths here. There are also many ponds that are said to be sacred here and one such pond that is a must see when in the temple is the Sacred Turtle pond which is believed to be a symbol of strength and long live. The turtles that were released here were done to symbolize liberation.
Hall of the Heavenly Kings (Tian Huang Dian)
Ensconced in the Hall of the Heavenly Kings (Tian Huang Dian) are the imposing statues of the Four Heavenly Kings. Each of the Kings controls one of the four points of the compass and the centre of the hall where they stand represents the centre of the universe. Kuang Mu, the Giant of the North. He holds a reptile in one hand and a pearl in the other. Tou Wen, the Guardian of the South. He holds the Umbrella of Chaos. Chi Kuo, Guardian of the West. He carries a magic guitar. Chng Chang, Guardian of the East. He draws his sword.
The statue of Maitreya, the Laughing Buddha, sitting in the centre of the Hall of Heavenly Kings. Clutching a sack containing gifts of good luck for humanity, he radiates happiness and prosperity.
Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, the Goddess of Mercy
The bronze statue of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, the Goddess of Mercy, is yet another popular highlight. It stands all the way above the temple, giving us an incredible view over the temple and the city. It was completed in 2002 and its protective octagonal shaped pavilion was completed in early 2010. The statue is made entirely of bronze and is over 120 feet high. The Pavilion is constructed of 16 Dragon pillars that are 200 feet high all covered by an exquisitely designed roof that perfectly compliments the grandness of this magnificent statue.
At the apex are a couple more temples, a fish pond, sprawling gardens and 12 animal statues that represent the Chinese zodiac.
Opening hours are from 7am–5:30pm daily. Admission is free, except for a small charge of RM2* each for entry into the pagoda and the Sky Lift. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Trip Suggestion : 2 hours
Operating Hours : Daily 08:30–17:30
Admission Fee : Free
Address : 1000-L, Tingkat Lembah Ria 1, 11500 Ayer Itam, Penang, Malaysia