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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Vesak @ Wat Nikrodharam






On Monday, Alor Star's devoted Buddhists thronged to Wat Nikrodharam 尼可罗塔南佛寺, the city's most imposing Buddhist temple complex, to pay homage to Lord Buddha in conjunction of Vesak, an annual holiday which Buddhists from all traditions celebrate the birth, Enlightenment, and passing of the great founder of Buddhism.




A stunning piece of architectural gem, this majestic Buddhist temple complex is a living testament to the region's Siamese influence in the past. The flamboyant temple gate and façades are typical features of the Thai Buddhist temple (wat) architecture.

Being the primary Buddhist house of worship in Kedah's state capital, this wat naturally played host to the city's most happening Vesak celebration.




Due to the temple's prime location at the city centre just beside a major roundabout, visitors can easily get a clear view of Alor Star's tallest man-made structure, the Menara Alor Star (Alor Star Tower), as shown in the last picture above.

As with most of Malaysia's northern states, the Chinese form the majority of the Buddhist community in Alor Star, while small pockets of local Thais and Indians make up the remainder of the bulk. Hence why Chinese architectural influence also played a rather significant role in the design of this temple complex.


Sincere devotees offering prayers at the main temple

Though Thai Buddhist temples are usually associated with the Theravada 小乘/南传 tradition (the main Buddhist school of thought adhered to by the Kingdom of Thailand), the Mahayana 大乘/北传 tradition followed by most Chinese Buddhists is also cherished here.

As for me, I consider myself a non-denominational Buddhist, thus I'm absolutely fine with whatever Buddhist tradition or school of thought. But I seem to be attracted to Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism lately. Haha...


This columbarium houses the cremated remains of my maternal grandpa who passed away 16 years ago in 1992

Besides the huge crowd of people, hawker stalls also packed the place to cater to those hungry devotees. I think I was the only one busy taking pictures around the temple complex, causing a lady from one of the stalls to mistake me for a journalist. How funny!


This old hawker has been selling mochi in Alor Star since my primary school days!

And last but not least, the beautiful self-purifying practice of...


14 comments:

Chev said...

cannot view the photo leh..
the connection kuku today..
only can read the post...

did u take time to pray besides taking photo? :P

ehon said...

wahhh!! very very informative. nice place too! i love the details and all..

kyh said...

Chev: 5 chups!

o.O Why liddat? Have you tried refreshing the page?

Got lah... ;)

ehon: 3 chups!

Thanks! So wanna come here for a visit? ;)

SilverIsle said...

Eh that mochi uncle upgraded dy? Thought he used to only sell using a motorcycle or bicycle?

And I miss Alor Star... Haha.

day-dreamer said...

Your page all along take longer time to load de. >.<

kyh said...

SilverIsle: 1 chup!

Is it? I can't recall that leh...

I'm sure you'll be able to come back soon. Just be patient! ;)

day-dreamer: Aiya... I think it's the fault of your Internet connection! :P

mistipurple said...

you is reporter mah. :P

Doreen said...

What an impressive building! Love the details and colours. This place is full of beautiful cultures.

Zhu said...

What a majestic building!

Even though I'm not a believer, I have always loved going inside worship places. They have a special energy... I loved temples in China, they were so open and so peaceful.

kyh said...

mistipurple: Really? :P

Doreen: Yeah... It's one of my favourite places in Alor Star, due to its architecture and all. ;)

Zhu: I've always loved these places of worship. Due to their nature, religious buildings tend to be built and designed by the finest craftsmen throughout the course of history. A large percentage of buildings with the most impressive architecture are more often than not, houses of worship. That's why these places have never failed to impress me no matter how many times I've been looking at them. ;)

eastcoastlife said...

Oh... I get a chance to see Buddhist temples in other countries. Beautiful buildings and structures. Must visit it the next time I go to Malaysia. :)

kyh said...

It's majestic, ain't it? ;)

claudie said...

My dream: to visit one day a so beautiful buddhist temple! But sounds I will still wait because I programm this year a visit in Finland where my daughter will go as an au pair for one year!

kyh said...

Finland! I wonder when will I have the chance to go there...