|Kek Lok Si Temple|
|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 17 July 2008 16:19|
The Kek Lok Si Temple (Penang Hokkien for "Temple of Supreme Bliss"; Simplified Chinese: 极乐寺; Traditional Chinese: 極樂寺) is a Buddhist temple situated in Air Itam in Penang and is one of the best known temples on the island.
The construction of the temple began in 1890 and was inspired by the chief monk of the Goddess of Mercy Temple at Pitt Street. With the support of the consular representative of China in Penang, the project received the sanction of the Manchu Emperor Guangxu, who bestowed a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras.
A temple in the making
As the fairly recent date mentioned above may suggest, the temple is still growing. Generous donations from the affluent Chinese community allow the construction of additional buildings. The current focus is to create an ornate shelter for the Kuan Yin statue. 16 carved dragon pillars are being built, the concentric roof will be inspired by classical Ming architecture, reminiscent of the roof of Prayer Hall for Good Harvest in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
Visiting the Temple
Most visitors approach the temple as they ascend a stairway, roofs of which provide shelter to a multitude of shops selling souvenirs and other - mostly secular - commodities. They pass by a so-called Liberation Pond, following the buddhist tradition of merit-making, turtles may be released into freedom, albeit a limited one.
The Temple brightly illuminated during the 33 nights following Chinese New Year
The temple is a focal point of festivals of the Chinese community in Penang. The Chinese New Year celebrations are particularly impressive: for 33 days following Chinese New Year, the temple remains open until late at night whilst thousands of lights turn the scenery into a sea of light.
For more information, please contact Kek Lok Si at 04-8283317.
|Last Updated on Friday, 25 February 2011 13:52|