Monday, May 25, 2009
Kek Lok Si
One of the finest Buddhist temples in South-east Asia. Stands majestically on a hill in Air Itam, this temple built in tiers culminates the beautifully crafted ''Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas''. It took more than 20 years to build which features gardens, a turtle pond, shrines and beautiful sculptures. There are many souvenir shops leading up to the temple which offers good buys. And as for food lovers,famous hawker food are lined up near the Air Itam market.
The temple was begun in 1890 and, from all appearances, construction really hasn't ever stopped. And it's still going on! The temple is supposedly the largest in Malaysia.
The Kek Lok Si project was inspired by the chief monk of the Goddess of Mercy Temple of Pitt Street. With the support of the consular representative of China in Penang, the project received the sanction of the Manchu Emperor Kuang Hsi, who bestowed a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras.
Without doubt the largest and best known temple in Penang, the Temple of Supreme Bliss, better known as Kek Lok Si, staggered on the hillside overlooking the town of Ayer Itam.
Since the olden days, the hills of Ayer Itam are regarded as important geomantically. Known as He San, or Crane Hill, they are recommended as a retreat for Taoist practitioners striving for immortality.
Construction of the temple started in 1893, but it was only in 1930 that the Pagoda of Rama VI, named after the Thai king who laid the foundation stone, but better known as the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddha's, 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.
Opening Hours: Early morning to late evening
Admission is free