Buddha Tooth Relic

Regardless of how you’ve ended up in Singapore (touring, living, or just passing through) The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a must visit.  Located in the heart of Chinatown, this gem of a place will transport you to another time – or at the very least – another state of mind.

The temple itself is fairly new, opening to the public only a few years ago (2007), it was built to honor and house the sacred tooth relic of Buddha (the history of which can be read here).

While the temple is said to consist of 4 stories, it is really more like 7.  With a museum, a rooftop garden, and a whole floor dedicated to the relic in which the temple is named for,  it  is a place you will want to have time to explore.

Dvarapala (Gate Guardian)

Mountain Gate

Front Courtyard

Preparing the hall for festivities

Preparing the hall for festivities

Maitreya Trinity:

Maitreya Trinity: Maitreya Buddha sits in the center

One Hundred hand carved Buddhas line the walls of the  Maitreya Hall

One Hundred hand carved Buddhas line the walls of the Maitreya Hall

One of the One Hundred.

One of the One Hundred.

Zodiac Protector, of Goat and Monkey, Vairocana Buddha

Zodiac Protector (of Goat and Monkey) Vairocana Buddha

Zodiac General, of Monkey, Andira

Zodiac General (of Monkey) Andira

Bodhisattva Cintamanicakra Avalokitesvara sitting on a lotus throne

Bodhisattva Cintamanicakra Avalokitesvara sitting on a lotus throne

Offerings

Offerings

Buddha Tooth Relic (24)

Rooftop garden

Rooftop garden

The walls of the roof are lined with miniature Buddhas

The walls of the roof are lined with miniature Buddhas

Familial names are inscribed on Buddha's that purchased as donations to the temple.

Buddhas can be purchased as donations to the temple.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda

Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda

Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel

Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel

Tips:

*This a sacred and holy place to many.  Regardless of your own personal beliefs, be respectful when visiting: No shorts, tanks, bare shoulders or backs (for both men and women) – if you forget – which is likely, given that Singapore is ridiculously hot – there are shawls and sarongs located to the right of the courtyard for visitors to borrow.

*When walking through the temple refrain from talking, or if you must – do so quietly.  There are often people praying and/or services taking place.

*No pictures are allowed on the 4th floor, where The Buddha Tooth Relic is housed (or where any relics are for that matter).  Do, however, take advantage of the meditation area while you are here.  It’s a very calm and peaceful place. – Just remember to leave your shoes at the entrance 😉

*Lastly, and I would hope this goes without saying to anyone reading this but I’ll say it anyway – just in case… Don’t touch the relics! Or the Buddhas, or the offerings (unless of course they are your offerings).  I know, I know, duh! Right!?!  But trust me, you’d be surprised…

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