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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16
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Lost In Asia
Singapore, Singapore2,616 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 December 29, 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.

FireSpitter
Ibiza, Spain186 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2011
Interesting temple. No frills, not so modern but that does not stop me from making multiple visits here to worship Buddha.
Written October 17, 2011
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.

35yrdream
Perth, Australia265 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2013 • Solo
The outside of the temple is simple with lovely Thai decoration along the gable roof line culminating in a dragon on each tip. The front of the building has colourful paintings on the gable and relief statues on the facade above the 3 entrances. Under guidance from my Buddhist friends we used the right hand entrance door stepping over the threshold leading with the left foot first. As you leave the temple exit with your right foot.
Once across the threshold a large, saffron robed seated Buddha looks down on you. He is brightly coloured, almost garish, and looks different to most Buddhas I’ve seen, not so Indian, maybe more Thai? Not sure, but he’s different. Around the statue is an aura that lights up, although it wasn't lit at the time I visited. At the foot of the Buddha are a number of smaller Buddha statues but these are all black or very dark brown. Not sure why? Along the base of the statue are scenes from Buddha's life. The ceiling is domed to accommodate the height of the statue, in the centre of the dome is a lotus blossom. The temple inside is spotless and very light, a lovely place for some quite reflection.
Written September 21, 2013
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.

Culturetraveller12
Switzerland682 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Family
There is a big Buddha statue, and at the bottom, around the statue, the history of Buddha's life is written and illustrated with many other statues. In a small room inside, accessed at the backside, you can find a lying Buddha statue. There is another room at the left side of the statue with 1000 small lights on the wall.

It's small, very nice and shows a lot of content.
Written April 5, 2013
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 Netherlands3,009 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 April 5, 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
130 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 February 28, 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 November 24, 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 April 23, 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, India1,920 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 July 11, 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.

Sazzad Hassan
Dhaka City, Bangladesh8 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I am looking for it but I don't know what happened to the temple, one of the shop member said it was tear down. What a waste of time
Written May 19, 2014
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

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