Kong Meng San Phor Kark See (KMSPKS), the largest Buddhist temple in Singapore, has a unique role to play in the hearts of Singaporean Buddhists. Over the years, it has helped promote the Buddha's teachings, bringing the Dharma closer to the public.

<< The Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Singapore is apparently the largest Buddhist Monastery outside China.

Founded in 1920 by Venerable Zhuan Dao, KMSPKS has grown dynamically to match the changing world in its Dharma propagation efforts. We aspire to be a model international Buddhist hub, which nurtures a culture for the active propagation, learning and practice of socially-engaged Dharma, guided by Compassion and Wisdom, for the Enlightenment of all.


In 1920, Venerable Zhuan Dao realised that the time was right to build a place of practice to propagate the Dharma and to provide lodging for monks, as there were many monks who came to Singapore without lodging. In 1921, the building of Phor Kark See Monastery started as the first traditional Chinese forest monastery in Singapore.

Since Phor Kark See Monastery is situated at Kong Meng San ("Bright Hill", formerly "Hai Nan Mountain"), it came to be known as Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery. The Monastery grew steadily and Dharma propagation began in Singapore. In 1943, Venerable Zhuan Dao passed away at Putuo Monastery at the age of 72.

In 1947, Venerable Hong Choon became the monastery's abbot. With great perseverance, he progressively developed and expanded the monastery with his followers into the largest and most majestic place of practice in Singapore. Venerable Hong Choon also initiated the monthly Great Compassion Prayer and taught the Dharma to benefit many.

Phor Kark See developed from a remote temple into a monastery well known to all. For the past 20 years, more than 6000 people from all walks of life, from Malaysia and Singapore, had taken refuge in the Triple Gem here. It is also an ideal place of practice for thousands of Buddhists. It's good name was soon spreaded overseas by the Sangha who visited the place, and was well respected to both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.

In 1980, the temple began to build Evergreen Bright Hill Home with the donation of 5.3 million from Venerable Hong Choon's followers, He Hui Zhong's family company. In the year 1994,The then President of Singapore, Mr. Ong Teng Chong visit the home and praised its cleanliness, good service and well-equipped facilities.

On 25th December 1990, Venerable Hong Choon passed away, and Singapore lost one of the most highly accomplished monks of our time. Venerable Hong Choon had over 280,000 disciples worldwide. Some of the more famous ones were Lin Shao Liang and He Hui Zhong, who were touched and transformed by his teachings.

Venerable Yen Pei was next to take up abbotship in 1991, followed by Venerable Long Gen in 1994. The fifth Abbot of the Monastery is Venerable Sui Kim, the abbot of Xing Yuan Temple and Hwa Zhang Temple in the Philippines.

On May 6, 2004, Venerable Kwang Sheng became the monastery's abbot.

What to see

Hall of Great Compasion

The Mahakaruna or Hall of Great Compasion was built to symbolise the great compassionate virtues of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva* or Guanyin.

Hall of Great Strength

The shrine of the Main Hall is dedicated to the historical Founder of Buddhism, Shakyamuni Buddha. He was born in Northern India more than 2,500 years ago as Prince Siddhartha Gautama. At the age of 29, he chose to renounce in search of Enlightenment out of Compassion for all beings. After He attained Enlightenment at 35, he taught the Truth inspiringly and tirelessly for 45 years before passing into Final Nirvana* at 80. His life is full of inspiring stories of how He touched people from all walks of life with His Wisdom and Compassion.

Above the Buddha, the higher sign reads "The Precious (or Treasure) Hall of Great Magnificence or 'Great Strength' or 'Great Hero'." The Buddha is considered the greatest of all heroes because He had conquered Himself. The lower sign reads "Teacher of Men and Gods"- this is one of the 10 special titles of the Buddha. Upon closer look, you will see a glass stupa in front of the Buddha. It houses a portion of the Buddha's relics- presented to the temple by a renown Sri Lankan temple in 1998.

Bell and Drum Towers

In Chinese Buddhist temples, the Sangha starts the day at the break of dawn by sounding the bell, followed by the drum, 108 times each. This process is repeated at dusk in the reverse order. It is also used for announcing special times throughout the day.

It is said that when one hears the clear resonating chime of the bell and beat of the drum, one's troubles are dispelled in the moment, helping Wisdom to grow and develop. It also has a profound effect of inducing the thought of repentance for beings suffering in the lower realms.

Ven. Hong Choon Memorial Hall

This four-storeyed building was commissioned by the current abbot of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, Venerable Sik Kwang Sheng, in commemoration of his late master, Venerable Seck Hong Choon. The outline of the majestic building resembles that of a huge ship. It houses the kitchen, dining hall, a meditation hall, Hall of No-Form and offices for Dharma propagation and activities.

The Hall of No-Form

On its highest storey, it hosts one of Asia's largest and most magnificent bronze Buddha images, which stands at 13.8 metres tall and weighs 55 tons. Venerable Kwang Sheng commented that it is precisely because the form of this Buddha image impresses many devotees that he named the hall "The Hall of No Form". It reminds all that since all forms do not have substantiality or self-nature, no forms should be attached to. As all forms are changing all the time, there are no fixed forms, including those of the Buddhas.

The Hall of Precepts

The Hall of Amrta Vinaya (Precepts) is where Bhikshus (monks) and Bhikshunis (nuns) receive their precepts. The diligent observance of precepts serves as a firm foundation for developing a clear and peaceful mind, which coupled with mental development and Wisdom, will deliver one from Samsara.

Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas

Entering the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, you would be greeted by one of the largest bronze image of Medicine Buddha in Southeast Asia. Combining Southeast Asian architectural design with modern design, the most prominent structure of this building are the golden stupas on its roof, representing the Buddha's sharp piercing Wisdom.

As seen upwards within the centre of the building is the inner circumference of its main stupa, which is lined with thousands of small Buddha images. This is significant of the truth that there are countless Buddhas in all directions pervading space and time.

Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
88 Bright Hill Road, Singapore 574117.

By Mass Rapid Transit (MRT):
Alight at Bishan MRT station and take bus 410 (white plate) and bus 52 from the interchange. It will bring you to the temple front gate within 10 minutes.

By cab:
Ask for "Kong Meng San" or "Bright Hill Temple".