Kek Lok Si is a Bud­dhist tem­ple in Penang which is one of the most famous tem­ples on the island. It is said to be the largest Bud­dhist tem­ple in Malaysia, as well as an impor­tant pil­grim­age cen­ter for Bud­dhists from Hong Kong, the Philip­pines, Sin­ga­pore and oth­er South­east Asian coun­tries. This entire com­plex of tem­ples was built between 1890 and 1930. The main attrac­tion in the com­plex is the strik­ing sev­en-sto­ry Rama VI Pago­da (Ten Thou­sand Bud­dha Pago­da) with 10,000 alabaster and bronze Bud­dha stat­ues and the 36.57-meter tall bronze stat­ue of Kuan Yin.

kek loksi

Entry relat­ed to loca­tion: Malaysia

When vis­it­ing Malaysi­a’s most pop­u­lar cities, make sure to take the time to explore this out­stand­ing land­mark. Mahayana Bud­dhism, Ther­ava­da Bud­dhism and tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese rit­u­als merge into a har­mo­nious whole, both in tem­ple archi­tec­ture and art­work, as well as in the dai­ly activ­i­ties of wor­shipers. Lit­er­al­ly, the name Kek Lok Si trans­lates as “Heav­en­ly Tem­ple”, “Tem­ple of the Pure Land”, “Tem­ple of Supreme Bliss”, and “Tem­ple of Par­adise”.

His­to­ry of Kek Lok Si

The con­struc­tion of the tem­ple began in 1890 and was com­plet­ed in 1905. It was inspired by Beu Ling, head monk of the Tem­ple of the God­dess of Mer­cy on Pitt Street in 1887. Beu chose a spir­i­tu­al place over­look­ing the sea in the hills of Ayer Itam and became the first abbot of the tem­ple. The con­struc­tion of the tem­ple com­plex was spon­sored by five of Penang’s lead­ing Chi­nese busi­ness­men, known as the “Hak­ka tycoons”. The main hall, which was com­plet­ed first, housed the shrine of Guanyin. There are stat­ues of female god­dess­es — the Queen of Heav­en, the God­dess of the Earth and the God­dess of Fer­til­i­ty. Peo­ple com­pared this shrine to West­ern Amitab­ha and start­ed call­ing it “Kek Lok Si”. There are also many oth­er tem­ple cham­bers with majes­tic stat­ues, includ­ing gild­ed Bud­dhas.

See also
Travel Pillow Lofty

temple in malaysia
The Chi­nese con­sul in Penang report­ed the great­ness of the tem­ple to the Qing gov­ern­ment. There­after, the Guangxu Emper­or invit­ed Beu Ling to Bei­jing in 1904 and bestowed upon him 70,000 vol­umes on “Psalms and oth­er sacred works of Bud­dhism” and issued a decree appoint­ing him “Chief Priest of Penang”. Upon the return of the abbot to Penang, a roy­al pro­ces­sion was orga­nized to the tem­ple com­plex. Emi­nent Chi­nese dig­ni­taries of Penang, in their roy­al man­darin attire, accom­pa­nied the abbot in this pro­ces­sion. In 1930, the sev­en-sto­ry main pago­da of Kek Lok Si Tem­ple, the Ten Thou­sand Bud­dha Pago­da, was com­plet­ed at a height of 30 meters. It com­bines a Chi­nese octag­o­nal base with a Thai design and a Burmese spi­ral dome. Kek Lok Si rep­re­sents a syn­cretism of eth­nic and reli­gious diver­si­ty in the coun­try. There is a large Bud­dha stat­ue here, giv­en by King Bhu­mi­bol of Thai­land. King Rama VI of Thai­land laid the foun­da­tion for the pago­da.

In 2002, the 302-meter bronze stat­ue of the God­dess of Mer­cy Guanyin was com­plet­ed and opened to the pub­lic. It replaced a pre­vi­ous white plas­ter stat­ue that had been dam­aged by a fire a few years ear­li­er. The bronze stat­ue is locat­ed on the hill­side above the pago­da. The stat­ue is com­ple­ment­ed by a three-sto­ry roofed pavil­ion 60.9 meters high with 16 bronze columns, which was com­plet­ed in 2009. This is the tallest stat­ue of Guanyin in the world. One hun­dred stat­ues of the god­dess Kuan Yin, each 2 meters high, are installed around the main stat­ue of the god­dess. How­ev­er, its height was lim­it­ed to avoid the shad­ow falling on the state mosque of Penang. This tem­ple also has a large hydraulic bell in the tem­ple com­plex that rings at fre­quent inter­vals. The tem­ple is rich­ly rep­re­sent­ed by wood and stone carv­ings. Each deity has a cush­ion in front of it, impres­sive scrolls and can­dles set in very attrac­tive pen­dant lights.

See also
The smallest hotel Utter Inn

temple at night

Festivals at the Temple

The tem­ple is the site of fes­ti­vals for the Chi­nese com­mu­ni­ty in Penang. The Chi­nese New Year cel­e­bra­tion is espe­cial­ly impres­sive. For 30 days after the Chi­nese New Year, the tem­ple stays open late into the night as thou­sands of lights turn the land­scape into a sea of ​​light. Dur­ing the days of the fes­ti­val, the com­plex is dec­o­rat­ed with thou­sands of lanterns rep­re­sent­ing dona­tions from sup­port­ers of the reli­gion. Anoth­er fes­tive fea­ture is the long march­es led by hun­dreds of monks from Thai­land once or twice a year. These fes­ti­vals are one of the many rea­sons to vis­it Malaysia and have a great time.