Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Glass Temple

Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Glass Temple

The blingiest bling in JB

More on Johor Bahru

Mirror mirror on the wall who’s the sparkliest of all? In JB it’s without a doubt Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Glass Temple, not the malls.

Travelfish says:
Inspired by a temple in Bangkok. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
Inspired by a temple in Bangkok. Photo: Sally Arnold

The temple’s history dates from 1922 when a parcel of land was granted by the Sultan of Johor. A humble structure was erected and the temple only saw a handful of devotees until its makeover in 2008-9. The inspiration for the transformation apparently came from a visit to Bangkok by the newly appointed guru. Touring around on a tuk tuk, he was blinded by a distant light and upon investigation found a small glass-covered wat, which ignited his imagination.

The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali, the destroyer (of evil) and divine consort of Shiva; many statues of her adorn the interior along with others from the Hindu pantheon. Of interest is the multi-faith “one God, different paths” belief the temple has embraced, with 10 1.2 metre-tall marble statues of spiritual leaders from other creeds including Jesus, Buddha, Shirdi Sai Baba, Sikh Guru Nanak and Mother Teresa. There are also three small lotus-sitting Buddhas in hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, speak-no-evil stance.

The Hindu pantheon is well represented. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
The Hindu pantheon is well represented. Photo: Sally Arnold

A small sanctuary at the rear of the temple holds a Shiva lingam and the walls are imbedded with thousands of rudraksha beads, usually strung as Hindu prayer beads (rudraksha comes from the Sanskrit meaning Shiva’s eyes). During the construction each bead was individually placed as believers chanted a Shiva mantra, to create a “spiritual vibration”. Devotees perform rituals here by pouring rose water over ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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Reviewed by

Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.

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Do-it-yourself walking tour of Johor Bahru
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Walk and absorb some history