The Tranquility & Charm Of
Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple
Standing tall among all the beautiful and mysterious temples in Penang is the Dhammikarama Burmese Temple. As the first Buddhist temple to be built in Penang back in 1803, Dhammikarama is a temple filled with
striking features and rich past.

It provides a historical evidence of Burmese occupation in Penang as well as the retreat for Buddhist devotees. The temple is located at the enclave of Burmah Lane in Pulau Tikus
alongside another magnificent architecture of Wat Chaiya (A Thai Buddhist temple).

According to history, the 200 years old Dhammikarama was formerly called Nandy Moloh Burmese temple as the land was originally purchased by a Burmese, Nonya Betong from the British.  After receiving the land title, Nonya Betong donated the land for the construction of Dhammikarama temple. Even today, the lane that houses two distinctive temples Penang is named Burmese lane -  One of many streets and alleys in Penang Island that retained their old historical names until now.

Here, you'll be able to see some of the mythical figures and religious icons that occupy the spacious temple compound that includes bell-bearing acolytes, myriad of Buddha's and flying beings. There are two huge and imposing-looking chi lings (a fabulous being that is a hybrid of a dragon, horse and a lion) flank the entrance to the main prayer hall. Several Buddha statues in different meditative poses nestle in grottos marked with the names of individual donors can also be seen.

A pair of winged chimeras called Panca Rupa or "Guardian Protectors of the World" standing on a replica of the world Globe is another interesting feature of the temple. The chimeras are actually mythical beasts that have features belonging to various animals.

Others main attractions includes historical Pagoda, a 200 years old well huge man-made water catchments filled with carps, the main shrine hall and the sacred Sima hall where a very tall and large all-marble Buddha image situated. The original Sima hall is a historical building built in 1838 but has since rebuild in 1995 following the increase in the number of devotees and visitors.

When you walk further in the temple compound, you'll see a big three-dimension (3D) wall mural and a tableau that depicts the Great Renunciation of Prince Siddhattha. The big pool
in front of the mural is a wishing pool that have several revolving metal bowls labeled with wishes such as health, wealth and others.

Visitor will normally throw coins into the bowl
hoping for their wish to be fulfilled. Coins
collected from the pool will be donated to the temple.

You will experience tranquility, calm, ambience and peaceful surrounding whenever you enter the main prayer hall. Voices are respectfully reduced to a whisper, but the quiescence is occasionally broken by the ringing of one of the many bells found in the gardens.

Throughout the calendar year, the temple carries out numerous activities for Buddhist devotees such as Water Festival, Wesak Day celebration, Pali Chanting classes, Observance of Buddhist lent, Festival of light, Katnina, Ordination of monks, nuns and novices, Arahant Upaguttea festivals, Dhamma Discourses, Meditation
classes, schools gathering, offering of food to
the poor and etc.

Because of the temple beautiful surrounding and well maintained grounds, it wins the first prize in Penang state Landscaping and Beautification Program in the year 2001. And in 1998, Dhammikarama was designated as one of the fifteen Penang State Heritage Sites to be preserved as tourist attraction due to its long and extraordinary history.

Photo courtesy of © All rights reserved