I have lived in Singapore for more than 8 years now. For a country as small, I still find places I would never have known. Today, I found Sakyamuni Gaya Buddha Temple on Race Course Road – a fortuitous discovery as I had just bought myself a camera and quite by chance, found this gem of a place to take pictures of.

Referred to as the temple of 1000 lights, the temple was founded in 1927 by a Thai monk by the name of Vutthisasara. Inside, it has a 15m floor to ceiling statue of Lord Buddha. Behind the statue leads you to a chamber which has the reclining Buddha, though photography is not allowed there.

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Previously a modest temple structure, it was renovated by the philanthropist Aw Boon brothers – Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par (of Tiger balm and Haw Par Villa fame). Their contribution can be seen outside the temple with the representation of the tiger and jaguar sculptures at the entrance each representing the brothers.

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Opposite the Buddha temple was a beautiful Leong San Temple – ornate as ever with colours so striking. This oldest Chinese temple in Singapore, is dedicated Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.

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