Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple @ Penang

The 3rd stop of our Penang trip, of course is the one just few steps distance and exactly opposite Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram - the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple. This Burmese temple is as fascinating as the Thai one in term of its architecture. With more than 200 years of history, the temple was designated as Penang State Heritage Site to be preserved as tourists attraction in 1998 during Visit Penang Year.

Upon walking into the main entrance you could see a long stretch covered path in front of you. Paintings are hanging high along the path and they tell the story about the life of Gautama Buddha. We stopped a while to look at the paintings and read the story. At this time, an old man (hereby call him the uncle) approached us and took the initiative to explain to us about the death of Buddha. We thanked him for that.

We then walked towards the end of the covered path to reach the main shrine hall. Here you can see a little different look of Buddha in Burmese Buddhism practice. There were monks on duty here and you can seek them for blessing and praying.

I think we were extremely lucky when we had change to witness the Relics of Buddha which had been displayed here for the public to view! The relics were sealed in a stupa-like container and been placed in front of the Buddha statue at the center of the hall. The relics look something like pieces of jade in few colors, such as green, white and black.

At right-hand side of the main entrance to the temple compound is another hall called SIMA Shrine Hall. The main attraction of this hall is it houses a giant all-marbled standing Buddha. The interior of the hall is decorated with very impressive wood engraving arts pieces which is really gorgeous!

Behind the giant Buddha image are 2 rows of smaller Buddha statues. From the reading I just knew that each of these Buddha statues is a replica of localized Buddha image from different part of the world during various stages of Buddhism influences including Japan, Pakistan, Nepal, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and etc. Too bad I didn't pay much attention on them during the visit. Perhaps I should do it next time if I revisit the place!

Behind the SIMA Hall is a courtyard with very nice landscape which worth to spend some of your time here.

A giant globe could be found here with 2 mythical look creatures guarding it. These creatures are called Panca-Rupa which said to be the guardian and protector of the world as they have the trunk of the elephant, 4 hoofed legs and 2 agile ears of the horse, lion-faced toe (chimera) with two deer's horn, the body and tail of fish and 2 Garuda's wings!

Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple is definitely a spot you shouldn't miss when you visit to Penang. We had spent quite long time here as there were too many points of photo shooting. As we were out of time, we had to leave the place after buying some souvenirs at the SIMA hall before heading to our next destination, which is Fort Cornwallis.

p/s: Oh ya... just before we stepped out from the SIMA Hall, the uncle that I mentioned above approaching us again and he offered to take a group photo of us in front of the giant Buddha image as a remembrance. I first hesitated a while before handled my camera to him. We sat in front of the entrance, *catcha*... first photo done... "one more one more and this time put your palm together", the uncle kindly told us. “Wow! what a nice post!" I was thinking. *catcha* Ok, 2nd photo done."The photos very nice, without any handshake!", the uncle claimed. While gave back the camera to me, the old man whispered, "can give me some money?  I just wanna earn some for living". Well, finally he shows his true color.

Anyway, I didn't blame him although honestly I did feel a little uncomfortable as initially we all thought he's a helper in the temple. At least he's working on something meaningful to gain some return which is better than another one just sitting at the entrance to ask for money by knocking a container on the floor. Rest my case here... just to share some experience... ;)


  1. You didn't reveal the photo of that "kind-hearted" old man,haha.

  2. I didn't take his photo... hahhaa... anyway, just update the part about this incident... ;)

  3. luckily he didnt take away your camera and run away....


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