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Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

By: joyceho on 15 Jun 2012
288 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058840

(+65) 6220 0220

Operating Hours:
Monday to Sunday: 7am to 7pm


It's not hard to spot the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum along South Bridge Road across from Maxwell Road Food Market. This majestic red and golden Buddhist temple was built in the stylistic Tang Dynasty fashion and houses an impressive four-storey high temple and a extensive museum with four themed galleries.

Walk through the Mountain Gates and be ushered into the mesmerising 100 Dragons Hall where regular services dedicated to Maitreya Buddha are conducted, with a back hall celebrating the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, better known to many as Guan Yin or goddess of mercy.

Directly above lies the mezzanine floor, where the Dharma Hall and the Eminent Shangha Museum with wax displays of famous monks are located. An ancestral tablets chamber with the image of the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha can also be seen at the rear of the mezzanine floor.

Up on the third floor, a very comprehensive museum gallery underscores the life of the Buddha and explains the role of the future Maitreya Buddha and the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, the representation of Kindness and Compassion. An impressive collection of Buddhist artefacts, photography of any kind are strictly prohibited in order to preserve these relics.

Perhaps the most important floor resides on the fourth level, where the sacred tooth itself resides. Enclosed in a brilliant golden stupa depicting 35 Buddhas who have achieved enlightenment and nirvana, surrounding the serene figure of the Maitreya Buddha who is guarded by four lions. The stupa is only unveiled from 9am to noon and 3 to 6pm daily where the Sangha would conduct a blessing ceremony before lowering the chamber's curtain

A quick climb up the stairs would lead you to the beautiful roof garden. Consisting of the world's largest enameled prayer wheel turns slowly in the Ten Thousand Buddhas Pavilion.

Originally a revocable book shelf for the sutras, this cylindrical book shelf had a central shaft for it to rotate for easier searching for sutras. Visitors to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple are advised to dress decently and no flash photography is allowed.

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