Thursday, March 13, 2014

Singapore: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

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I like to visit a Buddhist temple or two when I travel--the austere Japanese ones, opulent Chinese ones, the one built into a mountain in Taipei--and the opportunity to see one of the Buddha's "actual" teeth was an added bonus. The main chamber on the first floor is very nice:

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The relic itself is to be found in a much smaller chamber on the fifth floor, but photography is not allowed. And the tooth itself is in a shrine some distance behind protective glass, and is practically invisible to the naked eye. The "no photo" rule was explained to me by the guard as being for security purposes: everything behind the glass, including the floor, is 24 kt gold, he said, and they don't want people to know. So don't tell anyone.

An added feature of the temple is a rooftop garden, a nice spot for meditation in the hurly-burly of Chinatown.

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The temple is located in the Chinatown district, and Lonely Planet identifies the Chnatown subway stop was the most convenient one. This is incorrect. Outram Park is closer. Similarly, Promenade station is closer to the Singapore Flyer than is the City Hall station. I'm rather going off LP, lately.

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