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Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple

Penang's oldest Buddhist temple is a delightful feast of sights with its colourful murals, stunning statues, and peaceful landscaped gardens.

A dazzling structure of gold and red, the Dhammikarama Buddhist Temple stands tall with a pair of majestic white stone elephants guarding the entrance, reminding visitors of the sanctity within. The colour gold adorns almost everything, from pillars and roofs, to the sparkling spikes of the ornamental pagodas, and the large golden koi swimming in the pond.

Founded in 1803 by the Burmese population, which inhabited the area since the late 18th century, this is Penang’s only Burmese temple. Over time, it has grown to include imagery influenced by a number of Buddhist countries. Also, in Penang's oldest Buddhist temple, you'll come across a myriad of paintings, murals and statues paying homage to the history and legends of Buddhism within the temple.

Take your time exploring this elaborate house of prayer brimming with rich history. Wander through the entrance of the main shrine hall guarded by two fierce chinthes, mythical lion-like statues, to see a resplendent statue of Buddha cloaked entirely in gold except for the large white palm he holds outwards in a gesture of peace.

Do not miss the Arahant Upugatta Shrine, a revered monument believed to possess the power to overcome all of life's obstacles and exorcise evil. Under its pointed spires and ornate golden peaks, you will find offerings of fruit and flowers, as well as aromatic incense.

Walk around the tranquil landscaped gardens to admire the intricate mural depicting the Great Renunciation of Prince Siddhartha, and a pair of winged chimeras called Panca Rupa flanking a globe, serving as the Guardian Protectors of the World. Try your hand at throwing coins into the revolving wishing bowls at the pond and peek into the 200-year old disused well nearby to see koi and turtles swimming about.

The Dhammikarama Buddhist Temple hosts numerous festivals throughout the year. It becomes an explosion of colour for the Chinese New Year celebrations, while the Wesak Day in May sees a kaleidoscopic procession of floral floats celebrating the birth of Buddha.

Located in the Pulau Tikus district of Georgetown, the temple is just across the road from the Reclining Buddha Temple, making it a breeze see both temples in one visit. To get there, take any bus that goes through Burmah Road or Kelawai Road, or grab a taxi. The temple is open daily and entrance is free.


Guide to Exploring Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple


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