A tale of these two sculptures outside the temple

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1000 lights  temple 01

This is snake or a tail?  It is the tail of the tiger sculptures outside Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple.  Located at Race Course Road near Balestier Road, this temple was founded by a Thai monk, Venerable Vuttisara in 1927.  In those days, ramshackle zinc, wood shelter and a Buddha statue were the initial form.

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After gaining huge popularity and funded by philanthropist Aw Boon How and Aw Boon Par in 1930, the building was transformed into the grand present stage.

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The hall of the temple holds the 300 tonnes Buddha statue that was surrounded by hundreds of lights, which is why the temple was named after it (The Temple of 1,000 Lights).

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The philanthropist brothers, Aw Boon How and Aw Boon Par is the founders of the Tiger Balm Enterprise.  “How” in Chinese dialects represent tiger and “Par” represents leopard.  These two animal sculptures and motifs symbolize the spirit of the temple.

1000 lights  temple 07

The National Heritage Board earmarked the temple as a historic site in year 2000.


14 thoughts on “A tale of these two sculptures outside the temple

    Long Life Cats and Dogs said:
    May 16, 2013 at 4:33 am

    I really thought that first photograph was of a snake, until you explained. What an incredible place.

      Sydney Fong responded:
      May 18, 2013 at 12:07 am

      Haha! It can be a cane too! 🙂

    utesmile said:
    May 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Singapore is an amazing place! Thank you for showing us so much!

      Sydney Fong responded:
      May 18, 2013 at 12:08 am

      You are welcome, ute! 🙂

    ryan said:
    May 17, 2013 at 10:42 am

    wow… they the one who invented tiger balm?

      Sydney Fong responded:
      May 18, 2013 at 12:14 am

      Yes! It is! The brothers are the founders of tiger balm! 🙂

        bert0001 said:
        May 18, 2013 at 1:45 am

        we use that balm, even here in Europe …

        Sydney Fong responded:
        May 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm

        It’s all over the world, who knows you’ll see that in Mars! 🙂

    tchistorygal said:
    May 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    What amazing pictures you take, Sydney. I’m enjoying several posts at once, and they are all SO beautiful. I love how you captured the picture of Buddha just as a man with the same color shirt walked up to check him out. Perfect catch. 🙂

      Sydney Fong responded:
      May 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks, Marsha! You are always so sweet to me! The feeling is similar when Buddha look at me! I just don’t why I can’t stop myself to say thanks to you! 🙂

        tchistorygal said:
        May 20, 2013 at 1:21 am

        Maybe it’s my Buddha stomach! hahaha 🙂

        Sydney Fong responded:
        May 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm


    evilnymphstuff said:
    May 23, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Wow that’s a beautiful colourful place 🙂

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