Nirvana Memorial Park (Ipoh) Series 5

The Beauty of the Golden Temple

The Golden Temple: the essence of Tang Villa

If there is such a magnificent, dazzling and breath-taking golden temple, where is the first location that comes to mind? Is it China, or is it Japan? Could it be some other famous ancient temples in China? If you were told that this splendid sight is at Nirvana Memorial Park (Ipoh), would you believe it? Perhaps you would want to come and find out?

The Golden Summit Temple, is most notably represented at Mount Emei and Mount Wutai. The Golden Summit of Emei has been known as the stairway to heaven, dating back to the Eastern Han dynasty. The name “Golden Summit” is derived from the “Golden Summit Temple”. According to relevant sources, the Golden Summit Temple’s tiled pillars, doors and windows were cast from bronze mixed with gold. At the middle is the statue of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, surrounded by thousands of urns containing the ashes of Buddhists. Carved on the leaves of the doors is a road map of Sichuan’s mountains and rivers, featuring spectacular and exquisite craftsmanship. When the light of the morning sun strikes the mountain’s peak, the Golden Summit Temple dazzles and sparkles; hence the name “Golden Summit”.

Now, a golden temple has also been erected at Nirvana Memorial Park (Ipoh) in the Malaysian state of Perak. It forms part of Tang Villa’s group of attractions, gardens and waterside country. Due to its uniqueness and its architectural elements that follow ancient temples of the Tang dynasty, it is set to become a new landmark in Ipoh and Perak and a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists.

The Golden Temple: Exquisite sculptures and wonderful craftsmanship

In Buddhist terminology, the golden summit implies “the peak of light” and “the peak of happiness” – as the expressive culmination of Buddhist culture and a sacred place in the hearts of the faithful – representing the boundless wishes of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra. You can enjoy the “golden view”, “unique flying eaves”, “exquisite interlocking brackets” and the “Thousand-armed Avalokitesvara” at the Golden Temple. Among them, the most striking is the “Thousand-armed Avalokitesvara”, a 10 feet tall lifelike white statue of the Goddess of Mercy – symbolizing the infinite power to save the world and bond with all beings.

The exterior of the Golden Temple is gilded; representing the Chinese will to pursue auspiciousness and splendour while also signifying preciousness. The lotus blossom is one of the eight treasures of Buddhism that symbolizes auspiciousness and purity as well as the Western Pure Land – a place where beings are nurtured. The peak of the temple of temple is designed in the shape of an exquisite lotus bud, evoking an image of sublimity, light and tranquillity while also highlighting the solemnity and beauty of the overall architectural design.

When you look upon the Golden Temple, you will be drawn to the arched eaves on the corners of the structure; shaped like a soaring bird spreading its wings. The flying eaves are a unique Chinese architectural design. Often used in homes, towers, pavilions, palaces, temples and roof corners, the ingenuity of its design serves to drain rainwater from the roofs further away to reduce damage to the building’s foundation in addition to expanding light surface. In architecture, flying eaves are used to showcase wealth; the higher the eaves, the greater the wealth. Here, the flying eaves of the Golden Temple are used to denote prosperity.

Beneath the flying eaves are the beautiful archways. The arch in ancient Chinese architecture – along with ancient Greek and Islamic architecture – is one of the three most important elements of the world’s architectural system. It deepens the depth and height of the eaves, helps protect the walls and makes the temple look more beautiful and magnificent.

The Golden Temple: Perfect and auspicious mandara blossoms

According to Buddhist mythology, heavenly music emanates from the skies of the Western Pure Land and there is an extremely fragrant and beautiful flower that falls unceasingly day and night. The flower – called the mandara blossom – is among few that is known to bloom in heaven. In Buddhist scriptures, the mandara blossom has the significance of right intentions and is considered a sacred flower. Only those who are born with great fortune have the chance to see it and to look upon it can bestow one with infinite happiness.

The Golden Temple’s ceiling is decorated with mandara blossoms. The large and beautiful mandara blossoms project Buddhist sutras around the Thousand-armed Avalokitesvara from above and below – manifesting infinite power – as if empowered by the Goddess of Mercy to guide the departed to the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.