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Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrStanding tall and proud in the heart of Singapore’s busiest corner, the four-storey high Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum (BTRTM) is a magnificent complex, comprising ornate pagodas, opulent temples and an infinite amount of priceless religious icons. The temple was built to house the Buddha’s tooth relic which was allegedly found in a collapsed stupa in Myanmar, in 1980. Worldwide, there are six temples, in total, which claim to house one of Buddha’s teeth.
Inaugurated in 2007 this temple and museum quickly became the city’s foremost cultural attraction, thanks to its ornate design and immaculate state. This is, by far, one of the most striking temples you’re likely to see anywhere. Moreover, it may also be the most educative. Alongside thousands of antique Buddha statues and fastidiously carved wooden and golden artefacts, there is also a lot of information on the birth of Buddhism and its evolution through the years. Fascinating, informative, and awe-inspiring, not to mention blissfully contemplative, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is an absolute must-visit for anyone travelling to Singapore.
Brief HistoryThe temple, which was built at a cost of more than 60 million USD, was designed to incorporate a mix of Tang dynasty and Buddhist Mandalas architectures. Much effort was taken to ensure the design of the complex would be both authentic and accurate, in following with Chinese temple-building philosophy. This is arguably the temple’s biggest claim to fame. The Tang dynasty style was particularly appealing to the Venerable, Shi Fa Zhao, the man in charge of the project, as the multi-colored lacquer traditionally used (red, green, and gold) would ensure the complex stand out among the throngs of Chinese timber buildings.
The construction of the BTRTM took over two years and was undertaken by a renowned Singapore-based company.
LayoutThe temple extends four floors and includes a Chinese theater in the basement, where shows, concerts, and workshops are held regularly. In the stunning rooftop area, you’ll find a beautiful orchid-filled garden and meditation space, with stunning pagodas at each cardinal points and an ornately designed prayer-wheel.
The revered tooth relic is in a Sacred Light Hall on the fourth floor, in a stupa weighing 35 tonnes and made of 320kg of solid gold, most of which was donated by devotees. You’ll find various other related relic chambers (tongue and bone fragments, for example) spread about the temple. A multitude of chambers, celebration and prayer halls, pagodas and stupas, all containing ancient artifacts and lavishly decorated, make up the remainder of the complex.
Admission InfoThe temple is free to visit and open from 7a.m. to 7p.m. every day of the year. Flash photography is forbidden as is filming of any kind in the Sacred Light Hall. Respectful attire and behavior is much appreciated. If heading here wearing only a strappy top, you’ll find shawls to borrow at the front entrance.
How to Get ThereThe BTRTM is on South Bridge Road, on the southern fringes of Singapore’s Chinatown. Get here by MTR , alighting at the Chinatown stop and walking about three minutes from Exit B.
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Author: Laura Pattara. Last updated: Mar 21, 2015