In a small country like Singapore, we have housed people from different religion and culture. Buddhism was one the earliest belief that has been widely spread in the country, with paths of people from different countries.
1. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Located in the historic district of Chinatown, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum’s The Tany-styled Chinese Buddhist temple was conceptualised and designed by the temple’s Chief Abbot Venerable Shi Fa Zhao. It costs S$75 million to set up and is based on various elements of Tang Dynasty architecture. The building’s design was inspired by the Buddhist Mandala, a symbol of Buddhist culture that represents the universe.
The Buddha Tooth Relic is housed in a giant stupa weighing a whopping 3.5 tonnes and made from 320 kilograms of gold, of which 234 kilograms were donated by devotees. Only monks are allowed into the relic chamber, but visitors will be able to see the tooth relic from the public viewing area.
Admission to the temple and Saturday’s weekly-guide tours are free of charge. Conducted by the temple’s volunteers guides, each tour guides you through the different floors and halls of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum.
288 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058840
Tel: +65 6220 0220
Hours: Open Daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
2. Sasanaramsi Burmese Buddhist Temple
The Buddhist temple is the first and only Burmese Buddhist temple built outside of Myanmar (Burma) in the traditional style and the magnificent marble Buddha statue is also the biggest enshrine outside of Myanmar. This unique and dignified temple not only becomes a religious landmark but is also declared as a national heritage site of Singapore.
The Burmese Buddhist Temple was founded in 1875 by a Burmese gentleman U Thar Hnin. The current location is a relocation of a much smaller temple previously at 17 Kinta Road.
U Kyaw Gaung, also known as Khoo Teogou, a Burmese practitioner of traditional medicine and a native of Burma, became the first trustee of the Temple.
One of the main features of the temple was the Buddha sculpture that was in the centre of the main hall. U Kyaw Gaung went to Sagyin Hill, 50 kilometres north of Mandalay, which was famous for its superior quality marble used in the making of Buddha figures. Over there, he nought a large marble weighing more than ten tonnes and the Buddha statue was sculptured in Mandalay, completing in 1918. The statue weighing eleven feet high and ten tonnes was transported to Singapore in 1921.
The temple conducts year-round events and structured programmes for the public, such as Dhamma classes, religious festivals and Burmese traditional celebrations like New Year Celebration (Thingyan).
14, Tai Gin Road, Singapore 327873
Tel: +65 6251 1717
Hours: Open Daily from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm
3. Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is more commonly known as Shi Ma Lu Guanyin Temple in Singapore. The temple founder was Master Lee Nan Shan from Guangdong China. In 1884, he received a piece of land from a firm known as “Chen Liang Cheng” and built the temple between 1884 to 1886. The temple was refurbished in 1895 and rebuilt into the one that we see today.
The temple is one of the most visited Buddhist temple in Singapore with many devotees seeking their blessings with lighted joss sticks, and at times offer fresh lotus flowers. You can seek Guanyin (Avalokiteśvara) advice by shaking bamboo-made canister filled with 100 bamboo sticks until one of the sticks fell out. These are known as “divinity sticks” which each has Guanyin divinity lots, and you can go to the temple staff and they will help you to interpret the message.
178 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187964
Tel: +65 6337 3965
Hours: Open Monday to Friday, from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm
4. Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery
In 1898, Master XianHui and others stopped by Singapore on their return journey to China from Burma and he accepted the invitation from Low Kim Pong to build the monastery on 38 acres of land donated by him. The Dharma hall located in the backyard was the first hall to be constructed. The Zhu Lin temple was added for the stay of his mother, sister and cousin who were named Venerable Ci Miao, Venerable Chan Hui and Yue Guang respectively.
Over the decades, the monastery has expanded in the construction of many buildings including Mahavira Hall (1904), Hall of the Celestial Kings (1905), Sangharama Hall, Hall of the Patriarch, a nine-storey high Dragon Light Pagoda, abbot’s residence and meditation hall.
The monastery is the most complete form of Cong-lin style Buddhist monastery outside China. In addition, its combination of Hokkien architectural styles from the Chinese counties of Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou makes it unique in terms of architectural design.
In 1971, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) proceeded with the plan of the Suhang Garden, which proposed to classify Shuang Lin Monastery as a tourist attraction.
184 Jalan Toa Payoh, Singapore 319944
Tel: +65 6259 6924
Hours: Open Daily from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm
5. Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
Also know as Bright Hill Pujue Chan Monastery, Kong Meng San Phor Kark See is a buddhist temple and monastery located in Bishan, Singapore. It was built in the early 20th century by venerable Zhuan Dao to propagate Buddhism and provide lodging for monks.
88 Bright Hill Road, Singapore 574117
Tel: + 65 6849 5300
Hours: Open Daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
6. Wat Ananda Metyarama
Wat Ananda Metyarama is the oldest Theravada Buddhist traditional temple in Singapore. It was completed in 1925 with a land area of 18,317 sqft. Formerly located at 83 Silat Road, it has been relocated to Jalan Bukit Merah later on. In January 2013, the new temple building was officially declared open by MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Ms Indranee Rajah. The total construction cost is about S$6 million, which house the monks’ abode, Dhamma Hall and Meditation Hall, cultural centre (museum), Dining Hall and rest area (open for public)
The temple was founded by Thailand’s Venerable Luang Phor Hong Dhammaratano (Phra Dhammaratano Bandit) when he came with his disciple to Singapore in 1920. Upon noticing that there isn’t a Theravada temple in Singapore at that time, they aspired to build one.
In 1979, a pagoda and three residential blocks for the monks was constructed. The pagoda was officially declared open by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the second daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 28th June 1985.
During the year of 1995, a golden Kwan Yin (Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara) Shrine and a new porch was constructed.
The temple carries out some activities like daily praying, Vesak Day candle offering, Sunday Dharma classes for children and many more. Do check out their website for more information.
50B Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 169545
Tel: +65 6276 9646
Hours: Open Daily from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm
7. Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple
This temple is dedicated to Buddha who is also known as Sakya Muni. It was founded by Venerable Vutthissara, a monk from Thailand. In 1927, originally just a wooden structure, the temple was rebuilt with funds donated by devotees, and Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Parr, a pair of entrepreneurial Hakka brothers. The buildingis reminiscent of a Thai wat (temple) as it features a stupa and a Thai-style roof.
It is also known as the “Temple of a Thousand Lights” for the many lights surrounding its 15-metre Buddha statue which depicts Buddha’s posture when he attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, India.
366 Race Course Road, Singapore 218638
Tel: +65 6294 0714
Hours: Open Daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
8. Uttamayanmuni Buddhist Temple
Uttamayanmuni Buddhist temple is of the Thai Theravada Buddhist tradition and closely affiliated with the Kelantanese Thai monastic chapter (khana song rat Kelantan) in Malaysia.
It started well before 1962 when late Jao Khun Wijaranyanmuni (Jao Khun Khron, 1976-1962), the late chief abbot of Wat Uttamaram (also known as Wat Bang Saet) in the village of Bang Saet, Pasir Mas, Kelantan. He was the former chief monk of Kelantan and the first known monk in Kelantan to have received the monastic title of Jao Khun (though he passed away 15 days before he was to receive the ceremonial fan of office from King Bhumiphol).
In 1962, Jao Khun Khron was invited to visit Singapore by his devotees. It was on this trip that he informed his followers of his intention to have a piece of land in Singapore to build a temple. Mr. Tan Khe Wat, a Chinese Singaporean offered him a piece of land 2.5 ha to Jao Khun Khron.
32-B Hong San Terrace, Singapore 688785
Tel: +65 6769 1751
Hours: Open Daily from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
9. Hai Inn Temple
Hai Inn Temple stand unassumingly on top of a hill, amidst the serenity of the greenery. It is located in the outskirts of Choa Chu Kang, near the exit of Kranji Expressway (KJE).
Hai Inn Temple has a humble beginning; from mud huts to its current majestic building. The efforts was made possible by a well-known pioneer businessman, Mr. Tan Fang Swee who generously donated a piece of land and Mrs Tan, Madam Yeo Tong Ho, who enduringly raised funds to commence the construction of the Hai Inn building.
The temple was built around 1928, during that time, Hai Inn Temple was comprised of numerous mud huts to provide shelter against inclement weather – a place solely for female laities and devotees to learn and practice dharma.
Hai Inn Temple house the largest Brahma Bell in Singapore, which weighs 7 tonnes, with a height of 2.75m and 1.7m wide, consecrate in year 2003.
33 Brickland Road, Singapore 688254
Tel: +65 6769 1515 / +65 6769 4743
Hours: Open Daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
10. Beeh Low See Temple
Beeh Low See Buddhist Temple was a temple with more than 70 years of history in Singapore. The historical temple was a former old folk home called “Triratna (Three Jewels of Buddhism) Old Folk Home”, founded in 1935 by monk Xue Shan to look after many homeless old folks.
The temple is located in the centre of Singapore and covers a huge area of about 120,000 square feet. It is surrounded by beautiful surroundings, convenient transportation, complete facilities, and full of incense.
One of the notable histories of this temple is during the Japanese army occupation in Singapore, two bombs were dropped on the site. The surrounding facilities were destroyed but only the temple remained intact. This became a refugee for many of the residents and it played an important role in providing medical care to the injured civilians. Years after, the venerable decided to expand the temple and changed it to its current name – Beeh Low See Buddhist Temple.
71B Jalan Jurong Kechil, Singapore 598588
Tel: +65 6466 2288
Hours: Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
11. The Singapore Buddhist Lodge
The Singapore Buddhist Lodge was opened on 16 July 1933 with the aim to promote Buddhism and scriptures circulation in Singapore. After a series of preparation, the temple was officially opened o 17th June 1934.
Since its establishment in 1934, the temple has changed several locations and expanded numerous times. In 2014, on the 80th anniversary of the temple’s found, late former chief Li Muyuan started the reconstruction of the main hall. The design of the main hall is a combination of oriental and western ideas, with the exterior decoration adopting the traditional “swallow ridge” stacking and cutting process of southern Fujian, China.
Besides the main hall, additional lecture halls, parking lots and two more buildings.The total construction cost was S$60 million.
17-19 Kim Yan Road, Singapore 239329
Tel: +65 6737 2630
Hours: Open Daily from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm
12. Kuan Im Tng Temple (Joo Chiat)
The land that the temple currently resides in was donated by late trustee Zheng Jintai’s mother back in 1919. The temple was initially very small in size, surrounded by coconut plantation. In 1972, the temple underwent renovation and further expanded in 1988 as the followers grew. The temple held an inaugural ceremony on the 2nd of June, 1991.
Entering the temple you will see the impressive statue of Cundi Bodhisattva. The eighteen arms of the Bodhisattva represent the eighteen merits of attaining Buddhahood. There are the eighteen uncommon qualities and her arms are the symbolic expression of these secrets, endowed with the significance of profound principles.
The founder of the temple was Master Lee Nan Shan, who also founded the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple in Waterloo Street.
62, Tembeling Road, Singapore 423586
Tel: +65 6348 0967
Hours: Open Wednesday to Sunday, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Closed on Monday & Tuesday.