Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Inter-ethnic Temples Tour - Burmese Buddhist Temple, Hindu Temple, Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple

We joined the inter-ethnic temples tour organised by the Community Centre in our area. I signed up the tour as I thought such tour will educate my kids on the different religions and cultures of the different ethnic. The tour turned out not only educational, but also an eyes opener to us.

1) Burmese Buddhist Temple
This is the first temple visited by us. I was quite surprised to know that there's such a historic temple in Singapore. This temple has very beautiful exterior, full of nicely carved details made by woods and painted in gold and white colour.

A closer look at the statue displayed at the entrance:

Many Buddhist visit the temple on Sunday morning.

This is the Buddha made by marble in Myammar and transported to Singapore in 1921. I came to know this after reading the mural on its wall on level 2, which I'll write about it later.

There are murals telling the story of Buddha on the wall, which are quite educational to the visitors.

 These wood carve are found on the doors and pillars. Very good workmanship.

This mural tells how the Buddha figure, made by marble that weight 10 tons, transported to Singapore in the early 19 century. As shown in the mural, the Buddha figure was first sculptured from a marble at Sagyin Hill in 1918, and was transported through boat, elephant, ferry and finally reached a premise in Singapore. It must have gone through a very difficult hard time for it to be moved to the current temple.

The staff told us that each pagoda in a temple is used to keep something special and important to the temple, it can be the remains of a Buddha, or any objects left by the Buddha.
Although we are not Buddhist, I like this Buddhist temple the most, reason being it has a story to tell, and the beauty of its architecture. If you're interested to visit the temple, you may check out its website here:

2) Arulmigu Velmurugan GnanaMuneeswarar (AVGMT) Hindu Temple in Sengkang
I have a hard time typing this name, a very long name indeed! This is the first time we visited a Hindu Temple. It is very interesting to see the Indian having their prayer and spiritual ceremony, which we would definitely not have the chance without the help of the organiser.

 The event hall where prayers having their activities and ceremonies.

 We were lucky to see this ceremony going on, where one family bought the Saree to be presented to the deities in the temple.

The person in charge was explaining about the temple to us.

The priest doing offering to the deity.

We were told that AVGMT is the only temple in Singapore to have two main deities, not too sure why other temples do not have more than one main deity but I think this is certainly something special.

3) Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple
This temple is special that there are not only the Chinese gods in this temple, but also Natok Kong (Malay) and Ganesha (Hindu deity) just beside the temple.
The temple started with an interesting story, it was said that in the 1980s, someone found the statues washed to the beach and build a small shrine for the statues. When time goes by, the shrine gets its popularity but unfortunately a fire had burned down everything in the shrine except for the Tua Pek Kong statue. The devotees has since then build other temples for the Tua Pek Kong and finally settled down in the current location.

The lion statue on the entrance: 

Beautiful  wormanship on the pillar:

The person in charge explaining the history of the temple to us.

A giant abacus found on the ceiling of the temple:

 The Ganesha at the side of the temple, it is the biggest Ganesha in Singapore and India.

Another interesting fact of this temple is that the original Tua Pek Kong is coated with gold after the fire incident and is now hidden in the body of the Tua Pek Kong figure below. The temple will only open and show the public the golden Tua Pek Kong probably 30 years later.

I hope Chloe has gain something from the trips to these 3 temples. She did enjoy the visits despite not feeling well. I asked her if she would want to visit the temples again and she told me yes, I think it is a good experience to her.


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