Merlion symbol of Singapore

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Outside of the tooth relic temple
I recently visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown. Although it was only opened in 2007, it was built in the traditional Tang Dynasty style using no nails to hold the five storey building together. The temple is dedicated to the future incarnation of Buddha called Maitreya. The temple is interesting for the front and back both offer statues of Buddha for offering prayers. The front, central worship area is used primarily by the local monks and chanting can be heard most days. The back Buddha is for people to visit and bring offerings. There are many statues of Buddha all around the temple and most have been purchased by families to bring them luck and good fortune. The money raised was used to build the temple. There are also many gods to offer prayers to for different blessings. The tooth relic itself is located in a gold stupa on the top floor. Because the area is sacred, no photography is allowed and you must take your shoes off to enter. There is so much gold all around that it would be difficult to take pictures anyway as even the ones below are too bright. There is claimed to be over 400 kg of gold in the room. The tooth is so small you can't really see it, but they have monitors around the hall so you can get a closer look. It is brought out twice a year for the general public, otherwise only the monks can enter the room where it is kept. Glass windows allow you to see into the area. The tooth was found in a collapsed stupa in Myanmar and given to the monks in Singapore for safe keeping. They decided that a magnificent temple needed to be built to honor this relic. There are also two floors of museums with many other donations of Buddha artifacts.

Buddha statues decorating the walls of the temple

Main area where the monks perform chanting

There are gods for each of the Chinese horoscopes; this is year of the Monkey

A local making an offering to Buddha

Prayer wheel in the pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, they are all lining the walls

Rooftop garden and prayer wheel

Looking down on the main area

1 comment:

  1. What a treasure of a trip, Joan. You write the best reports...Just wish I could follow with all these forays.

    Have a great trip next week!