Siong Lim Temple also known as Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery is located in a corner of Toa Payoh which is one of Singapore's oldest housing estates. The full name of the temple is Lian Shan Shuang Lin Shi which translates as the Twin Grove of the Lotus Mountain Temple. It was built in the year 1912 and was modelled after Xi Chan Si which was another temple in Fuzhou. It is believed that Siong Lim Temple was the result of a dream by a Buddhist trader, land owner and leader of the Fujian community, called Low Kim Pong who envisioned a golden light and promised to build a Buddhist monastery on meeting a few Buddhist pilgrims.
Siong Lim Temple is designed in such a way that it is almost similar to the Chinese Mahayana monasteries. The temple holds huge incense burners and a lovely carved Buddha idol. The beauty of the temple is now enhanced by the stunning carved Buddha idol brought from Thailand. The unique feature of the temple is that irrespective of the sprawling spaces and grounds, any individual can find their way to the desired place in the premises and back. The shrine of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy is at the back of the temple.
In the course of time, the Siong Lim Temple deteriorated and has undergone major renovation since 1991. The beautiful Entrance Hall with a granite wall panel that depicted Chines culture and history scenes was restored while the Drum Tower and Bell Tower that flanked the main courtyard also underwent restoration work. The Main Hall houses the main altar which is also the hub of the Monastery. It is famous for its decorative panels, wood carvings and various sculptures of deities. The temple also has new seven storey granite Dragon Light Pagoda with a golden spire that is a replica of the 800 year old Shanfeng temple pagoda in Fujian in China, was completed recently.
Siong Lim Temple is a beautiful temple that has enthralled visitors for ages. A visit to the temple is a must for the gorgeous architectural marvel that it is.
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