Singapore

   


Places of Interest in Singapore
Travel Guide




Sri Lankaramaya

Sri Lankaramaya Temple at St Michael's Road is a peaceful sanctuary situated in the middle of major roads. Built in 1952, this is the oldest Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist Temple in Singapore.

<< The massive 45-ft Reclining Buddha statue is the main feature of the temple.

With a Stupa, a Bodhi Tree, Buddha images, and a Sima Hall, the temple is considered as a complete monastery under the Theravada tradition. Other key features of the temple include a 45-ft reclining Buddha statue and a life-like effigy of the King Devanampiyatissa showing his reverence to Arhat Mahinda depicting how Buddhism arrived in Sri Lanka. 

The main buildings of the temple include a three-storey office and library block, and a two-storey building housing a hall, a main shrine, and a stupa at its rooftop. Open space filled with greenery between these white buildings makes the temple an oasis nested in the middle of modern high-rise condominiums.

A Haven of Peace

A surprising oasis of serenity lies in the middle of a major roads that are perpetually bustling at any given time of the day. Though Whampoa Road may be roaring with vehicles and the hum of traffic, strangely none of these noises seeped into the precincts of the Sri Lankaramaya Temple. Stepping into the compounds is as though one is is entering a safe haven, far way from the stress and frustration of day to day living.

The Sri Lankaramya Temple occupies a generous piece of land, with much open space between the neat white buildings. The spaciousness was like therapy for my constantly churning mind, stilling my thoughts instantly. The constant breeze that cooled my skin was like panacea for my urban soul.

Fronting the temple grounds is a structure that houses a massive reclining Buddha about the length of three shop houses. Glass doors allow for a full unobstructed view of the impressive statue without one having to even venture into the building. At the side of the gate is a pavilion that hosts a relatively discreet statue of the Samadhi Buddha, the most prominent Buddha image in Sri Lanka. The feature that left the deepest impression in me however is the magnificent Bodhi Tree thriving in the middle of the compounds.

The Bodhi tree is indeed flourishing grandly, with the brilliant sunlight filtering through its crowing glory of leaves to create dappled patterns on the earth beneath it. Sheltered by the foliage of the Bodhi tree are four altars to the Buddha, each facing in the cardinal directions of North, South, East and West. As I moved into the shade of the tree to pay my respects at the altar, I could feel an inexplicable sense of peace overcoming me. It was though the air itself was different, bringing me easily into an almost meditative state of calm. What was originally a simple visit to the temple had now been transformed into almost a pilgrimage for me.

A Depiction of the Spread of Buddhism to Sri Lanka

One of the most unique features of the Sri Lankaramaya Temple is the life-like effigy of the king of Sri Lanka, King Devanampiyatissa showing his reverence to Arhat Mahinda, the son of King Ashoka. It was Arhat Mahinda who introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon. Th sculpture depicts Arhat Mahinda disseminating advice against deer hunting as a royal sport.

The sculpture is complete with a replica of the landscape comprising grazing deer and even a miniature bridge. The gaiety of colours and details are reminiscent of Haw Par Villa and serves as a reminder of how Buddhism arrived and propagated in Sri Lanka. 

Address: 30-C St Michael's Road,
Singapore 328002
Tel: 6391 0031
Tradition: Theravada
Managed By: Singapore Sinhala Buddhist Association
Resident Monks: Ven P. Piyananda, Ven K. Rathanasara

Getting there

Nearest Bus Stop: SERANGOON ROAD-.ST MICHAEL'S PL , Bus No. SBS 107, 107X, 125, 125X, 13, 133, 147, 23, 26, 31, 64, 65, 65M, 66, TIBS 857.

Nearest MRT: NE 10 POTONG PASIR, NE 9 BOON KENG

Driving Direction: Drive along SERANGOON ROAD from city towards the CTE/PIE expressway entrance. Turn left into St Micheal's Road just before the bridge over Kallang river.

Website: http://cms.basicbuddhism.org/index.cfm?GPID=115

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