One of the main tourist attractions in Penang Malaysia is the Temple of Supreme Bliss that sits majestically at the hill of Ayer Itam about 6 kilometers from downtown Georgetown.
Entrance to the temple is a bit complex as the path that is leading up to the temple is actually alleys of stores selling dry goods and souvenir items. It is quite frustrating because aside from you don't know if you are traversing the right path, the hawkers were quite persistent and noisy offering their goods. You will know that you are on the right track when you reach a murky pond full of turtles, named liberation pond. The Chinese believes that turtles set free in the pond is an act of spiritual liberation.
The pathway up will lead to the landing area where the temple proper begins, it is the mid section of the complex. The Ordination Hall is the first building that will be seen and the surrounding gardens. The Ordination Hall has a huge prayer area. At the garden is a round pond with seven-tier ornamental pagoda. A linkway leads up to the Chamber of Seated Buddhas. This two-story pavilion is cloistered by rows of standing Buddha statues. Also sited on this level is the Hall of the Devas, the heavenly kings on each four points of the compass is positioned. At the center is the Laughing Buddha, it represents the center of the universe that brings happiness, hope, and prosperity to the people.
The topmost section of the complex is the hilltop where the bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy is standing tall. The hilltop can be access through the inclined lift. The Goddess of Mercy pavilion has a height equivalent to 20-storey building. The roof is a three-tier pagoda supported by 16 granite columns with ornate carvings. It is undergoing renovation when I visited the place so it was closed to public. There is a tent adjacent to the pavilion visitors write their prayers and offerings where accepted. There is another temple at this level. At the main entrance, one can buy a roof tile and can inscribed your name and wish in it as offering to the main altar.
Aside from these attractions, the hilltop will reward you a commanding view of the surrounding mountains and the entire Ayer Itam town. The view would have been more dramatic at night time.
The Kek Lok Si Temple is open free to the public and can be reach from Georgetown by public bus and taxi. I took a taxi from Georgetown and paid 20 malaysian ringgit, and took a bus no.102 going back to Georgetown.
|On the left side of the green roof building is the entrance alley|
This is where to come out from the shops alley leading the midsection of the temple
The massive Ordination Hall
At the open garden in the midsection
Hall of the Devas
Chamber of Seated Buddhas
View of Ayer Itam town
The view of the Pagoda of 10 thousands Buddhas
The hilltop can be access through this inclined lift
The area where you can make wishes by writing on the ribbons, on the potlucks, or simply donate
Main entrance to the temple of Supreme Bliss
One of the animals installation at the open garden
Intricate detailing of temple architecture is interesting to get notice while in there