Temple Of Supreme Bliss, Kek Lok Si Temple
January 23, 2012 by staff
Temple Of Supreme Bliss, Kek Lok Si Temple, The Kek Lok Si Temple (Penang Hokkien for “Temple of Supreme Bliss” or “Temple of Sukhavati”) is a Buddhist temple situated in Air Itam in Penang and is one of the best known temples on the island. It is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. The temple is heavily commercialised with shops at every level and inside the main temple complexes.
Mahayana Buddhism and traditional Chinese rituals blend into a harmonious whole, both in the temple architecture and artwork as well as in the daily activities of worshippers.
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 Emperor Guangxu, who bestowed a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras.
The primary benefactor of the Kek Lok Si Temple in 1906 was none other than Kapitan Chung Keng Quee.
In 1930, the seven storey main pagoda of the temple or the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, was completed. This pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, and a Burmese crown; reflecting the temple’s embrace of both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.
In 2002, a 30.2m bronze statue of the Kuan Yin was completed and opened to public. It replaced the previous white plaster Kuan Yin statue which was damaged due to a fire a few years earlier. The bronze statue is located on the hillside above the pagoda while the head of the previous statue which survived the fire is preserved and placed on the right hand corner of the new statue.
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