Kek Lok Si Temple
In this fascinating Buddhist Temple Penang has a remarkable tourist attraction, architectural landmark and place of prayer.
Reputedly the largest Buddhist temple in all of Southeast Asia, Penang Kek Lok Si Temple is set on a hillside in Air Itam. Housing a well-known statue of the Goddess Kuan in its enclave, this Buddhist temple in Penang comprises interesting souvenir shops in its main hall. Simply translating to "the Temple of Supreme Bliss", the temple encompasses a shrine containing statues whilst the temple's pond, "The Liberation Pond" remains a popular attraction among visitors owing to the tortoises and carp living in its waters as the turtle is considered a symbol of strength, longevity and endurance according to the Chinese traditions.
The impressive seven storey pagoda of the temple can be reached after taking a stairway from the courtyard. Referred to as the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, it is the main attraction of the temple. The distinctive collections of bronze and alabaster Buddhas as well as the Chinese octagonal base topped with a Burmese temple crown are among the special features of the pagoda. Overall, the pagoda displays an eclectic fusion of Thai, Burmese and Chinese architecture.
In addition to the pond, beautiful gardens and the striking statue of the four heavenly kings adorn the garden. During the Chinese Lunar New year, the temple presents a spectacular sight to behold, with colourful lanterns illuminating the whole vicinity.
A bronze figure of the Goddess of Compassion, referred to as Avalokitesvara is the latest addition to the temple complex. Prayer halls with intricately carved columns and bell towers are also part of this charming temple.