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This was a place I first went to in 1997 and this time it was much more decorated as you can see, it is no other than.....................



T H E T E M P L E O F S U P R E M E B L I S S


Without doubt the largest and best known temple in Penang, the Temple of Supreme Bliss, better known as Kek Lok Si, staggered on the hillside overlooking the town of Ayer Itam. Since the olden days, the hills of Ayer Itam are regarded as important geomantically. Known as He San, or Crane Hill, they are recommended as a retreat for Taoist practitioners striving for immortality.

The Kek Lok Si project was mooted by the chief monk of the Goddess of Mercy Temple of Pitt Street. With the support of the consular representative of China in Penang, the project received the sanction of the Manchu Emperor Kuang Hsi, who bestowed a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras.

Construction of the temple started in 1893, but it was only in 1930 that the Pagoda of Rama VI, named after the Thai king who laid the foundation stone, but better known as the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, was completed. This pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, and a Burmese crown, reflecting the temple's embrace of both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.

The latest addition to the temple complex is the 30.2m bronze statue of the Avalokitesvara - Goddess of Mercy or Kuan Yin - on the hillside above the pagoda. This statue was completed and open to the public at the end of 2002.

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Additional Photos by Dan Leung (Kenny10pin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4744 W: 0 N: 5667] (19301)
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