Mangala Vihara Buddhist Temple

The Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery is a Buddhist Monastery in Singapore which was set-up in the year 1902.The Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple is known as the Siong Lim Temple in the Fukien or Hokkien dialect. The Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple is situated in Singapore's Toa Payoh. The affluent Chinese merchant, Low Kim Pong was the owner of the entire 40,000 sq. meter plot housing the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple.

History of the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery
When the affluent trader Low Kim Pong was in his sixty, he saw the dream of a golden light over the sea and it was rising from the west. He thought it to be a sign of omen and the next day he went over to the coast. In the evening, there he met a strange Hokkien family coming by boat. The family was returning to their home in Fujian after undertaking a pilgrimage to Sri Lanka. The families were devout Buddhists and Low was so gripped by their devotion that he persuaded them to reside in Singapore and preach the faith and even set-up a temple for them. Xian Hui, the patriarch of that family became the first abbot of Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple.

The area of the temple decreased to 20,000Sq. meters when the Singapore Improvement Trust acquired portions of the land. Today among all the residential flats, the temple still towers as a landmark building. On 17th October, 1980 the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple acquired the status of a national monument, representing the cultural and social roots of Singapore's Chinese immigrants. The Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple despite being granted the status of a national monument was neglected. The temple was in terrible shape in the 1990s parts of the temple area was declared unsafe. It received a facelift from 1994-2002. Eighty carpenters, artisans and sculptors were drafted in to restore the earlier Chinese glory of the temple.

Architectural style of the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple
The Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery is built in imitation of the Xichang temple in the Fujian province but it possesses a distinctively Singaporean architectural style. The labourers who constructed the temple belonged to Fujian's different counties. Elements of Quanzhou, Zhangzhou and Fuzou styles can be found in the temple. The temple has a seven-storied pagoda with golden tops, a replica of Fujian's 800-year old Shanfeng Temple.

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