Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bub & Me: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum

We had one of those days where there were no plans to follow, no schedules to tie us down so we went wandering in Chinatown. It's been a while since we had a "free" day to do whatever we pleased, and I loved it. The boy parked at People's Park Complex and we walked around exploring the little shops and surrounding.

Chinatown isn't exactly a great place to bring a stroller due to the bumpy footpaths and narrow walkways, so I'm glad that Lil Pumpkin has long abandoned the idea of sitting in one. She was pleased to stretch her legs outside the usual malls and city areas, and discover more of the cultural side of Singapore...

... Sometimes, however, she likes to pretend that she's a baby and asks us to carry her like one *roll eyes*

I wanted to have dinner at Keong Saik Road so we walked in that direction and were pleasantly surprised to come across the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum {佛牙寺龙华院}. I've heard of it but never actually been inside before.

Opened since 2007, it is considered as a rather new temple and houses the tooth relic of Buddha. I've been to Buddha Memorial Center {佛陀紀念館} in Taiwan that is said to a tooth relic of Buddha too and do find it interesting that quite a few exist around the world - Sri Lanka, China, Singapore, Taiwan and even Japan. I'm not a Buddhist but think it would make an exciting trip for believers to travel to all the different temples and see the relics. Don't you?

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is considered as a living monument with a design inspired by the golden age of Buddhism in China during the Tang Dynasty. The four-storey temple looks pretty grand from the outside, and the red interior architecture is simply stunning!

We only walked around on the 1st floor as we were on our way to dinner, but I'd like to go back to visit the tea house and cultural shop on the 2nd floor, the Buddhist Culture Museum on the 3rd floor {it apparently has an impressive collection of original Buddha artifacts and images from different parts of the world}, and of course, the actual tooth relic on the 4th floor.

Beautiful candles on flowers for prayers. It was an eye-opener for Lil Pumpkin since it was her first time inside a Chinese temple. I'm glad we stumbled upon this place on our little family walk.

Do dress conservatively i.e. no shorts or revealing tops, when you visit the temple though. If you happen to forget, they have shawls and wrap-around skirts to lend. I had to borrow one since I was wearing shorts ;p

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
288 South Bridge Road
Open daily 7am - 7pm
Free admission

Read about the other fun activities we did with Lil Pumpkin here or my list of Kid-Friendly places in Singapore.




Elly said...

I love the vibrant red in temple too!

Gintai_昇泰 said...

My fren is the CSO of this temple. You may wish to get in touch with him thru me cuz he can conduct a free in dept tour for you. He could even show you places usually not accessible to the general public. Find out from him more details such as the story behind building this temple etc. Nice pics and write up.

Ai Sakura said...

Elly: do go for a visit! think you will enjoy it.

Gintai: thanks for the info :) I'll be in touch with you shortly. Would love to have an educational tour around the temple.

Unknown said...

Oh beautiful!! I love going to the temple in Toronto here, and although it's beautiful as well, it's not nearly as detailed as this one!

Theresa Mahoney said...

I find temples to be so beautiful. The sculptures alone are just fascinating to look at! If you go on a full tour, I would love to see more pics!

Bumble Bee Mum said...

I went inside once on a unplanned visit (was going Chinatown and thought the temple looked interesting so decided to pop in), and yeah, I was told to cover myself up with a shawl. :p

Mamamie said...

We passed by there a few times before, maybe I should bring the kids to go in to take a look one day!

Soon Koon said...

Probably one of the best iconic architecture in Singapore. Thanks for sharing this post!

Soon Koon

May said...

It is a beautiful temple. The upper floors are serene and nicely done too. Second floor has wax statues of renowned monks and they were done so well, they look extremely real! Madame Tussaud's material.

Unknown said...

Interesting sites of places of worship...Did you actually get to see the Buddha relic?

Waiwai Leung said...

My husband and I had visited this temple before. Think it is an interesting place for older children to learn about Chinese culture.

Christy Wong said...

Very interesting post and place to go with the kids. I have not been here yet and most likely will go if we do pass by the place. I heard that the architecture costs a lot and it must be really impressive ya?

The Loving Mum said...

Past by couple times but never visited. One day I will.

Jolin said...

An interesting place to visit. Stepping into the temple will make one feels peaceful instantly.

Susan said...

Must have been an interesting visit for Lil Pumpkin to learn more some chinese culture on this visit.