01.01.2010 - 28.02.2010 30 °C
Today being our last day in Penang, we decided to just look around and relax.
We decided to take visit the Reclining Buddha. Located in the quaint Pulau Tikus town, Wat Chayamangkalaram was built in 1845 by a Thai Buddhist monk. The legend about the monk tells us, that he was very fond of the local speciality of Penang, which is called "laksa". Even today devotees bring a bowl of laksa as an offering to his shrine. The temple houses a 33-meter gold-plated reclining Buddha that attracts devotees from all over the world. The five acres of land was donated by Queen Victoria to the Thai community.
The opening hours are from 6.00am till 5.30pm. The entrance is free. So we travelled by rikshaw, which was a fun ride. I kinda felt bad for the guy driving us, because PG is heavy. So we paid him extra…poor guy…..
If you're walking in the courtyard towards the main temple, you are greeted by two awesome looking green-faced guards before the temple entrance. At their feet are crawling two mythical dragon-headed serpents. A good note to remember: when entering any temple or shrine, always remove your shoes before you enter. It’s a sign of respect.
Inside the temple is a 33-meter gold-plated reclining Buddha. It's said to be third largest in the world. In the reclining position, Buddha lies on his right side with his head resting in the palm of his right hand to the North. He sleeps by turning his body to right side and left leg put over right one. This position on the couch symbolizes the Mahaparinirvana (Enlighthenment or achieving Nirwana) of the Buddha which took place at Kushinagara (Uttar Pradesh, India). A peaceful half-smile gracing its serene face.
It is said that the Buddha knew death was approaching, and asked his disciples to prepare a couch for him in a grove. He lay there, reclining on his right side, facing west, with his head supported by his hand, as he passed into nirvana.
The statue of the Reclining Buddha is not supposed to evoke sadness, but rather encouragement that all beings have the potential to become enlightened and attain release from the sufferings which characterize the cycle of rebirth. The reclining Buddha's serene, composed, and restful demeanor (he is actually slightly smiling) a reminder of the serenity that comes with enlightenment.
At the back of the reclining Buddha there are a lot of niches. They contain the ashes of the devotees. Behind the temple is a small Thai village and a Thai cemetery. Local Thais celebrate the traditional Buddhist festivals (the Sonkran and the Loy Krathong) at Wat Chayamangkalaram.
This visit was very spiritual and informative for us. Took a lot of pictures too.
We later enjoyed a traditional massage at Danai Spa. ooooooo so relaxing……..