The Buddhist Monastery- Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple or the Temple of 1000 lights is a prime example of true devotion. The temple was built in 1927 by the Thai Monk, Venerable Vutthisara and is dedicated to Lord Buddha. The grand monastery attracts several visitors due to the magnificent statue of Buddha that is present inside the temple and stands a good 15 metres. This famous statue of Lord Buddha weighs about 300 tonnes and is one of Singapore's masterpieces and attracts people from all over the world.
The temple got its name (temple of 1000 lights) due to the colourful chain of lamps or "lights" that surround the grand statue and highlight the statue further. The temple is a must visit as the lights along with the statue truly make it a divine and iconic place where it seems that all wonders come true.
Highlights of the temple
Aside from the lights and the enormous statue which are reason itself to visit the Buddhist temple, the place provides several other reasons due to which it makes its way on peoples itineraries. Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple is also widely known due to its diverse architecture. Since the temple was built by a Thai Monk, it obviously contains Thai architectural styles but as the temple lies in the beautiful Indian quarter of Singapore and due to its Chinese origins the temple forms an artistic blend of Thai, Chinese and Indian architecture. This makes it a hotspot for architecture buffs.
Aside from this, the temple is home to several relics and intricacies that add to the divine atmosphere of the place. One such relic is stored in a small back room behind the statue that stands in the main room. The relic in the small room is a piece of the bark of the Bodhi Tree, which is the same tree that Gautama attained enlightenment under and hence became Lord Buddha. This same room also has an altar under which an image of a reclined Buddha is displayed proudly.
Aside from this Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple also contains frescos depicting Lord Buddha's life at the base of the statue. Beautifully painted depictions of various stages and important aspects of his life also cover the walls of this temple. The place is also said to have a copy of Buddha's footprint made with mother of pearl and ebony which is indeed priceless. The place is truly one of a kind and should be visited at least once.
The Vesak holiday is one of the most important holidays for the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple. On this day, the temple receives the most amount of footfall as it is the day which celebrates the enlightenment and birth of Lord Buddha. On this day, followers of Buddha visit the temple and place a small leaf of gold on the small statue of Buddha, and as a rule, by the end of the holiday, the figure should be entirely covered with the gold leaf. This day also brings in a lot of donations to the temple and is one of the most sacred holidays.
How to reach Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple
Address- 366, Race Course Road, Singapore, 218638
By Bus Stop: Serangoon Road (ID- 07221) Bus No. - 65, 23, 21, 141, 64, 139, 147 3-minute walk to the temple from the bus stop
Stop: Lavender Street (ID- 07241) Bus No. – 145 5-minute walk to the temple from this stop
By MRT Farrer Park MRT Station (NE8) 3-minute walk to the temple from this station