Kek Lok Si (Buddhist) Temple, Penang
Once a Year celebration of the Chinese New Year, Keh Lok Si Temple make it a special occasion by lighten up with more than 10,000 lights not only for decoration but also with a special ritual for those whom like to pledge or donate to a noble cause. It may cost you a few hundred to a few thousand Ringgit to light up a light from 1st to 15th day of the Chinese lunar calender first month. Now with the Chinese New Year fall on the 23rd of January 2012 this year and you may get to witness this occasion.
This is a very interesting place to visit. The Buddhist temple is perched on a hill overlooking Georgetown. It is a great place to wander around - have a look at the various buildings. When we visited the place was decorated with red lanterns wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.
South East Asia's biggest Buddhist temple complex, and getting constantly bigger, very crowded, especially at Chinese new year and shops are everywhere....
Get there with Rapid Penang bus 201 from Lebuh Chulia and Komtar
The Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang Hokkien for "Temple of Supreme Bliss" or "Temple of Sukhavati" is a Buddhist temple situated in Air Itam in Penang and is one of the best known temples on the island. It is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia.
This Buddhist temple is the largest in Malaysia and sprawls up the hill dominating the town of Air Itam. To access the complex you have to weave your way through an ascending corridor of souvenir shops which are an obvious tourist trap, after which you'll arrive at Liberation Pond. Following the steps up you will reach the temple complex proper and be rewarded with the intricate and colourful Ban Po Thar Pagoda.
The Kek Lok Si project was mooted by the chief monk of the Kuan Yin Teng, Goddess of Mercy Temple of Pitt Street, George Town. With the support of the consular representative of China in Penang, the project received the sanction of the Manchu Emperor Guangxu (1875-1908, of the Qing Dynasty) who bestowed a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras. Funds to get the project realised came from wealthy benefactors of that time, including Cheong Fatt Tze, Zhang Yunan, Cheah Choon Seng, Chung Keng Kwee and Tye Kee Yoon. In recognition of their contribution, they were all made the Five Principal Directors of the temple.
The initial temple structure was built on the summit of He Shan. It cost $180,000 Straits Dollars. The 10-acre site was purchased in 1893, and the temple was completed in 1904. An official opening ceremony was conducted on 13th January, 1905. It was only in 1927 that the iconic pagoda, known as the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, today one of the most recognisable landmarks of Penang, came into being. As well as this, the other star attraction is the 30.2m bronze statue of the Avalokitesvara - Goddess of Mercy or Kuan Yin, standing on the hillside above the pagoda, which was completed and open to the public at the end of 2002.
Admission to Pagoda: RM2.
What can anyone say about this temple but wow, It is enormous, full of statues, buddas, ornamental pagodas, and the icing on the cake is of course the Kuan Yin statue which towers over the whole complex and once you are up there beside her you can see magnificent views of Georgetown and the enormity of the temple itself, being Chinese new year whilst we were there they have the whole place lit up with thousands of lanterns and fairy lights which prompted us to go back and visit the temple at night, Fantastic!
This magnificent Buddhist temple sits on a hill at Ayer Itam. Construction started in 1893 and was completed in 1905. The entrance is reached through arcades of souvenir stalls.
The centrepiece is the Ban Po Thar or "Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas". It took 20 years to build and was finished in 1930. The pagoda is of Chinese design at the base, Thai in the middle and the crown is Burmese. The temple also features gardens, shrines, sculptures & a turtle pond.
1. Visit Kek Lok Sie and Penang Hill. It is near by. Enjoy the young coconut near Kek Lok Sie. The taste is kind of pandan leaf. Su unique.
2. Enjoy the gurney drive when evening time. You can take some local foods there.
3. Getting around Georgetown. It is more historical places. You also can enjoy some local foods there. I remember last time i went there. I took one ice cendol in somewhere around Georgetown.
4. If possible, you can take car from penang Island and then cross to Penang Mainland via Penang bridge. When you go back from mainland to island, you can take ferry. It is really fun.
I really like visiting Penang. I hope i can go there again next time..
I really think that this is a MUST SEE in Penang, especially if you haven't seen many Temples before.
It has been said that it is the finest Buddhist temples in South East Asia, this could well be true!
Situated on a hill overlooking Penang, its worth coming here just for the views. The Temple took quite a few years to build, being completed in 1905, with The “Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas” taking more than 20 years to build and was only completed in 1930.
It is built in tiers, and sits amongst lovely landscaped gardens, a Turtle pond which also has large Carp, shrines and lovely sculptures. Each tier is built in a different design with the 1st tier, a Chinese octagonal base, middle tiers are of Thai architecture and the top is a Burmese crown.
At the start, you may pass few some beggars, we did, then its an uphill climb to reach the top, plenty of steps, so be warned!
One section we didn't go to is the bronze statue of the Goddess of Mercy or Kuan Yin - on the hillside above the pagoda.
If you want to get a close-up look of the Kuan Yin statue, then go left as you get to the furthest hall, which is also the largest and look for the signs for the 'incline lift' to the goddess.
Use of the lift costs RM 2 each way.
If you want to go to the main prayer hall which we did, then it will cost you another 2rm.
A really lovely Temple to visit!
for historical places, you can go to Georgetown. There are national museum, fort, old masjid, old church, little india and some old buildings. Take a walk for the tour around those places.
The best eating place is gurney drive. Many local food there. The best time to visit there is evening time.
Kek lok si and Penang hill r at the same area. So you can make it in one day. And then in evening, u can spend ur time to Gurney Drive.
There is temple at Lebuh Burma. It is reclining budha temple. It is good to visit also.
check this web for more info http://www.penang-traveltips.com/
so, happy traveling..
Kek Lok Si Temple is located on top of a hill at Air Itam and it is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. The tower is seven-tier and 30m high.
There are many tours that will take you there but you can also catch the TransitLink shuttle bus No.8 or Yellow Bus No.85.
It is a very impressive collection of buildings, shrines and statues, but it is soooo touristy - everywhere you walk you are in the way of someone's photgraph. Souvenir shops at every turn, but you cannot deny the impact of the ornate tiles and plasterwork.
Don't bother going up the 'cable car' to the top level as it's covered in scaffolding at the moment (spring 2008).
We got a cab there, couldn't be bothered with the bus. The area below the temple 'Ayer Hitam' is a very interesting Chinese neighbourhood, spend some time there too and look round the wet market.
Issues: Too many stores inside the temple complex selling random stuff
Right now the Goddess of Mercy is surrounded by contruction frames which are covering pillars which will be built in front of her, so if you go by lift (which will cost 7rm or something like that), you will still not get a good view : (
Is actually not as close to the funicular for Penang Hill as one might expect. When you are on top of Ayar Itam when you're on the buddhist complex, the taxi driver said its about 20 mins to go to penang hill. If you walk down to the foot of the temple, and in town again, the funicular is still hard to find. I suggest taking the public bus to Penang Hill, because then there is a bus back towards Kek Lok Si also, so that will work out better. I think the bus number to Penang Hill was 204. Tickets cost about 1.50 rm
This Buddhist temple of Kek Lok Si is situated in Air Itam, a suburb of Georgetown and was the largest and best known temple in Penang.
The Kek Lok Si project was mooted 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.
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 Buddhas, 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
Kek Lok Si temple is one of the largest and finest Buddhist temple complexes in South-east Asia. Standing majestically on a hill in Air Itam, this temple built in tiers culminates the beautifully crafted ''Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas''. Construction of this temple complex commenced in 1915 and 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 stalls are lined up near the Air Itam market.
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 at the time, 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.
During festival times, especially the Chinese or Lunar New Year, the entire Kek Lok Si complex is strung with tens of thousands of lanterns and lights representing donations by devotees. When lit up during the evenings, the temple is literally transformed into a fairyland of lights.