Temple of 1,000 Lights (Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya)

Temple of 1,000 Lights (Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya)

Temple of 1,000 Lights (Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya)
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This Thai-influenced temple features numerous broad-ranging styles of Buddha representation.
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4.0
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Lost In Asia
Singapore, Singapore3,371 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
The temple was originally set up by Venerable Vutthisara of Thailand. The present premises are located at Race Course Road in Singapore.

The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple is one of the most prominent and widely visited Buddhist temples in Singapore, often referred to as the Temple of 1,000 Lights. It features a 15-meter high statue of a seated Buddha, which weighs nearly 300 tons, as well as many smaller Buddha images and murals depicting the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. The large central statue is surrounded by a stylized aura made of numerous light bulbs—often lit during evening hours—from which the temple derives its nickname. In a small room beneath the altar is an image of a reclining Buddha, Buddha towards the end of his life, under a Yellow Saraka Tree.

On Vesak Day, the annual holiday celebrating the birth and enlightenment of the Buddha, devotees donate money to the temple and in exchange are allowed to place gold leaf onto a small statue of the Buddha. As the day wears on, the Buddha is almost entirely covered in a fresh layer of gold leaves.

The temple is open between 8.00 am and 4.45 pm daily.

Admission is free.
Written 29 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeanette M
Cairns, Australia468 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018
This temple is on Racecourse Rd in Little India. It isn't big, so you'll have to look closely to find it. It was built in 1927 by Thai Buddhists, so you'll see lots of Thai features like the flame shapes on the roof, elephant figures, and a huge seated Buddha statue in Thai robes. Strangely there's a leopard and a tiger statue guarding the front door, making me think the Haw Par Brothers of Tiger Balm fame had been major donors. The interior was undergoing renovations / repairs when I was there, but it was still open to visitors. Be sure to have a look at the statuary inside.
Written 6 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shikataganai73
Guam, Mariana Islands1,119 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Friends
Unfortunately, by the time I arrived, it was closed. However, the outside of temple is beautiful and flanked by tiger statues on each side. Hopefully, I will be able to return to see inside.
Written 7 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Flitz8-A foodie travels
Amsterdam, The Netherlands3,075 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Solo
Came here to see this temple.Pamphlets at the front explain temple and also explanations of Budha image each day and his journey to enlightenment.For 50 cents spin wheel to find out your fate.
Written 5 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tan C
139 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Solo
The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, popularly known as the Temple of a Thousand Lights, is located at 366 Race Course Road in the Little India precinct. It is home to Singapore's tallest Buddha statue and a relic said to be carved from the bark of a Bodhi tree under which the Lord Buddha meditated.

Founded in 1927 by Thai monk the Ven. Vutthisara when he put up a shack with a Buddha statue, its devotees grew unabated. Later with funding provided by the philanthropic Aw Brothers of Tiger Balm and Haw Par Villa fame, the site was expanded to what it is today. Architecturally simple but eclectic for its fusion of Indian, Thai and Chinese influences, the temple became a major destination for worshippers and tourists.

The temple has three entrances flanked by sculptures of a tiger and a leopard, animals from Buddhist lore or a subtle homage, I guess, to the Aw Brothers who went by the names of Aw Boon Haw (cultured tiger) and Aw Boon Par (cultured leopard).

Leaving your footwear outside the temple door, you enter the prayer hall and behold the towering statue of the Lord Buddha in a sitting pose, soaring majestically some 15m towards the stupa roof. Understandably, many like yours truly, experience a sense of being reduced to insignificance like a grain of sand before a boulder. This is a sight even more awesome in the evening when the myriad lights around the statue are switched on, and the temple takes on its moniker of the Temple of a Thousand Lights.

In front of the statue is a long altar with bronze castings of the Buddha and two porcelain statuettes of Guan Yin arranged on a tiered dais, and laid with fruits, flowers, candles and other offerings. A large rectangular joss stick receptacle in front completes the setting. At one end of the altar, staff will assist you with making an offering at the oil donation box, and you can light the oil lamps and strike a bell as part of the ritual.

Smaller statues and figurines of the Buddha in standing, sitting and reclining postures line the wall on your right. On the opposite wall are several showcases displaying more Buddhist objects of veneration including one tall cupboard containing a larger-than-life ebony representation of the footprint of the Buddha, which is intricately inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

Set against the wall opposite each end of the altar is a counter manned by the temple staff to assist visitors with information and purchase of amulets and publications.

The life of the Lord Buddha is told through a long series of dioramas that wrap around the base of the statue, each event highlighted with a short caption in English, Chinese and Tamil. As you follow the dioramas to the back of the statue, you'll come to a step-down with a curtained doorway to a chamber. This houses a 7m long statue of the reclining Buddha draped over with a yellow embroidered cloak, with several standing statues of followers behind. No photo-taking is allowed here.

Exit the chamber and follow the remaining dioramas back to the front hall.

In case you missed it, as I did, a golden four-faced Brahma statuette under an ornate structure, in sharp contrast to the spartan walls of the hall, occupies the space just inside the centre doorway.

Admission is free. In keeping with decorum, do leave your footwear outside the temple doors.

(Adapted from a post on my blog “Singapore, virtually painted by Tan Choon Hong”)
Written 28 February 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Saurabh Patil
Mumbai, India11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018
This temple is very close from Little India (Walking distant) . It is very peaceful. Cant say that its a must visit as there are so many places to go
Written 17 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mrs. Hippie
Whistler, Canada41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016
My second trip to Singapore necessitated a second visit to The Temple of 1,000 Lights. A modest temple, it features a 45-foot statue of a Thai-inspired Bhudda.When the attendants realize you are not a look-i-loo but someone generally interested int their faith they give generously of their time. They offer travellers water, strong coffee and good conservation. A must see for anyone interested in Bhuddism. The history of the temple and the role it has played in providing sanctuary during war time is fascinating, humbling and inspiring.
Written 24 November 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JoChabanis
Paris, France10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Family
The temple was renovated by the Aw Boon brothers (of Tiger balm and Haw Par Villa fame), leaving marks of their involvement in and around the temple, like the Tiger and Jaguar at the entrance each representing one of the brothers.
The temple is simple but interesting, with an impressive huge buddha inside. The style is the same as in Haw Par villa, slightly dated but charming.
If you're around visiting Little India, it's worth a visit.
Written 23 April 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kamakshi2015
Bengaluru, India1,840 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Family
If have love for the sacred and the eastern philosophy - you must visit . The location is not too ideal but if you have a taste for The old monasteries this place is worth your time . Not for a hurried traveller with constraint on time .
Written 11 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KGB777
Singapore, Singapore41,412 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2015 • Solo
Located almost opposite a Taoist temple, this Buddhist temple contains a very large statue of Buddha. Footwear needs to be left outside, but didn't seem to be any objections to taking photographs inside. Wasn't too busy when I visited early on a Saturday afternoon. Worth a stop.
Written 10 January 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Temple of 1,000 Lights (Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya), Singapore - Tripadvisor

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