Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang

2 weeks ago, my parents and grandparents came over to Penang to pay me a visit. It was a great idea that they came up because I was almost bored to death! After all, it was more than 1 year since their previous visit, hence I was looking forward to it excitedly. One of the events that we never missed out was the visit to the famous Kek Lok Si temple in Penang. It was almost customary that we had to go visit it whenever we're in Penang.

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Famous Kek Lok Si pagoda

Luckily for us, it wasn't the peak season or any Chinese festivals, so the temple was not crowded at all. In case you didn't already know, there are two levels of temples in Kek Lok Si, where I would refer to as Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 would be the first temple that you see when you come up from the foothill. It is also where the famous pagoda is situated. Level 2 is the place where the majestic Goddess of Mercy (Kuanyin) is rested.

This was the view taken from Level 2, nearby the Goddess of Mercy statue. You could even spot Komtar building in the far end at the centre.

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View from top

From Level 1, there is a tram that you could take to go up to Level 2. Of course, you could choose to drive up too, if you're not very comfortable with trams or you want to save time. The tram station is just on the left of this building, which looked like a desserted temple. The place was locked every time I visited it.

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Tram station on the left

Most people would come up to Level 2 to visit the gigantic Goddess of Mercy statue, which was built from bronze. Unfortunately, this time around, there was construction going on to build a booth surrounding her, to protect her from the harsh weather. The construction must have taken place for quite a while, for the structure was already there. I suppose it would take another 6 months or so before we could see the final version. :)

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Goddess of Mercy

There was another temple in Level 2 which was open to public. And this temple had more visitors from the foreign countries than local Penangites.

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Temple

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Temple entrance

The interior of the temple was nicely decorated with pretty flowers and the floor was clean and shiny. We're not allowed to enter the temple with shoes on.

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Interior of temple - Flowers as decoration

The Buddhists usually use candles as offerings to the Gods. Therefore, it is not a surprise if you visit temples and see many candles lined up in front of the temple. Most candles allow you to write your wishes on them, too, leading the followers to believe that their wishes would come true if they pray.

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Candles as offerings

Outside of the temple, there was a pond filled with koi fishes. Next to the pond was the waterfall which gave the area a sense of serenity and calm.

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Fish pond by the temple

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Waterfall

Also, surrounding the temple were the 12 animal zodiac signs. Guess which one I belong to!

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Guess my zodiac!

After visiting Level 2, we drove down to Level 1. There were more temples in Level 1, and of course more people. I was really amazed by the architecture of these temples, and the intricacies of the decorations. If you look at the ceilings, pillars or the walls, each piece is a work of art by itself. I salute all the architects and painters who put in so much effort to make the temples an impressive place for the Gods to reside.
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Temple at Level 1

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Miniature pagoda

There was a long corridor walkway that led to more temples and eventually the pagoda. However, since most of us were tired, we didn't go up the path!

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Path leading to the Kek Lok Si pagoda

Some greenery to feast the eyes.

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Pretty greenery

Overall, the experience was a fun one, considering I had not visited Kek Lok Si for more than a year. I'm sure in my next visit (one year later!), all the construction would have been completed and the place would have a new facelift! Definitely looking forward to it. :)

7 comments:

MisSmall said...

Hey gal, merry Christmas! Have a good one. :)

chiaoju said...

YAY! DOG! :) hehe

merry christmas babe. thanks for being there for me... always. you'r the best. *hugs*

iamthewitch said...

MisSmall: This came a little too late, but Merry Christmas to you too! And Happy New Year!

chiaoju: Merry christmas to you too dear! And you're most welcome :) *hugs*

foongpc said...

I love the Kek Lok Si temple! last time I went there (I think 2 years ago), they were about to start constructing the cover for Goddess of Mercy statue. How come they took so long to complete it? Your photos really nice - makes me want to visit there again! : )

iamthewitch said...

Yea, they are taking a long time to complete the Goddess of Mercy booth eh? I think it will take 2 more years to finally finish it! Thanks for your compliment. ;) Should go visit during the CNY period at night, they're lit up very nicely!

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iamthewitch said...

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