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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thai Buddhist Temple in Penang

1. Wat Chaiya Mangalaram
Wat Chaiya Mangalaram was built as a Buddhist temple on the 30th May 1845. According to the record available, the idea of granting the land as a permanent endowment for religious benefit of Thailand was first mooted by the governor, Mr. W.I. Butterworth. A formal grant was made by the East India Company on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Victoria to representative of the community. Since then, the land has remained in trust to this present day.

The main attraction of Wat Chaiya Mangalaram is the reclining Buddha statue (Luang Phor Chiya Mangol), which was built during 25th century of the Buddhist Era (1957). With length of 108 ft and 32 ft in height makes it the largest in Malaysia and third largest in the world. Skilled sculptor were engaged from Thailand to design the decorative and artistic value of the monument, including drawings of the life story Lord Buddha. There are about 30,000 Buddha image inside the hall. Also an iconography of ancient Buddha and Bodhisatta images of various type from Cambodia, Ceylon, Vietnam, China, Japan, Loas and Thailand are being exhibited in the hall.

To further enhance the unique beauty of the temple, the committee decided to erect a 40ft tall pagoda adjacent to the reclining Buddha building.

Years later, more buildings came up with the donation of kindhearted devotees. Today, Wat Chaiya Mangalarm is one of the most famous tourist spots in Penang.
Wat Buppharam is a Thai Buddhist temple located at Jalan Perak in Penang. The name Wat Buppharam means "flower temple", and is one of the common names for temples in Thailand. Among the locals in Penang, the Wat Buppharam here is often called Temple of the Lifting Buddha, on account of the century-old Buddha image in the temple. It was founded in 1942 by Phothan Srikheaw, a Thai Buddhist monk, who acted as the first abbot of the wat. Wat Buppharam is busiest during the Loy Krathong Festival. It is where the procession starts, with devotees bearing the colorful "krathong" or floral offerings, making their way from the temple at Jalan Perak, through Jalan Burma, Lorong Burma, passing Wat Chaiyamangkalaram and Dhammikarama, to Persiaran Gurney, where they are placed in the sea.

Wat Buppharam is one of the two temples often involved in the staging of Thai festivals such as Loy Krathong and Songkhran.


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