Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A visit to some Buddhist temples in Singapore

One of my goals in Singapore was to visit a number of temples, here's some of those that I was able to see. I was quite happy with all the temples. Most were nicely sized and, though they didn't have the grandeur of some of the large temples in China, they gave a good sense of Buddhism.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
This was a fascinating spot; both an active temple and a museum. The Buddha tooth relic itself is on the top level in a room almost entirely made of gold (no photos allowed). There is also a wonderful roof garden (with prayer wheel).
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Yueh Hai Ching Temple
A quite spectacular site; the temple itself is under reconstruction (with bits and pieces laying about the courtyard). The incense though is really neat. There were coils of incense strung all across the courtyard and creating a wonderful smell. The temple was busy with some red paper burning rite, so I didn't go all the way in. There were some interesting 3D painting/sculptures that were paintings with the animal (tiger and dragon) coming out of the painting. Very nice!
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Yu Huang Gong Temple of Heavenly Jade Emperor
Small-ish temple that was all under wraps as it was being reconstructed. A small temporary temple was set up on the side.

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Thian Hock Keng Temple
Perhaps the premier Buddhist temple in Singapore, it was simply spectacular. The woodwork and sculpture was amazing and the overall effect very well done.
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Xian Zu Gong Temple
The temple was set up for the red paper burning, so there was a sort of "pop-up" temple set up in front. Main point of interest was a field of giant joss sticks, I mean giant, six footers, burning out front. You had to be careful to not get to close as the burnt out bits would fall smoldering at your feet
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Leong San Temple
A busy local temple with some lovely artwork. In the back of the temple was a large area for ancestor tablets. An interesting moment came when a family came and the parents lifted up their toddler to look at the tablets, and, I assume, pointed out his ancestors.
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Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple
Neat temple in the Thai style with a massive Buddha inside and fierce tigers guarding the front!
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Hong San See Temple
Located near Ft. Canning Park, this temple was situated on a hill and had steps to go up. Another spectacular example of carving. The pillars on the front of the temple were very detailed carved stonework.
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