If this temple reminds you of Bangkok you're not imagining things — it was founded by a Thai monk.
The monk, Vutthisara, arrived in Singapore in 1927 and built a small shack housing a Buddha image on Racecourse Road. The shack quickly grew in popularity and after funds were garnered from local philanthropists Aw Boon How and Aw Boon Par, the present day temple was built. The highlight of the temple is the 15 metre tall, 300 ton Buddha statue, surrounded by hundreds of lights -- giving the temple its nickname, "The temple of 1,000 lights".
Once completed, Vutthisara added items from his personal trinket collection, including a supposed piece of bark taken from the Boddhi tree that Buddha gained enlightenment under.
The temple walls are adorned with colourful murals depicting Buddha's life and a huge mother-of-pearl replica of a Buddha footprint from Sri Lanka -- also from Vuttjisara.
The temple is the centre of activities on Vesak Day, the anniversary of Buddha's enlightenment.
Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple is on Racecourse Road, diagonally across the road from Leong San Temple. The closest SMRT is Farrer Park, a five minute walk away.
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