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Malaysia and Cambodia


This is about my upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. The first part is pre-trip - information about flights, itineraries, accommodation and all the things that you need to do to plan an overseas holiday. This is my first trip to Asia and I hope it may help others. Comments are very welcome and anyone who has travelled to Malaysia and/or Cambodia, please feel free to comment and offer any advice or tips that you think would be helpful. As of today ( 28th February) , in exactly 11 days (minus 30 minutes) I will be in Kuala Lumpur.

I had the most amazing time and hope you enjoy reading about my trip. Each post is numbered and I'm doing them in order from start to finish - a little like a diary.



81. Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple

Just acros the road from Wat Chayamangkalaram is the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple - the only Burmese temple in Penang. Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple also claims the honour of being the first Buddhist temple built in Penang in 1805.

Above: Entrance gate
Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple has ornate carvings and there are two enormous white stone elephants either side of the front gate which are partially obscured by the market umbrellas. If you enlarge the photo you can see the elephants more clearly.

The Hti
Above: The Hti, or umbrella
Close-up of The hti, or umbrella at the top of a Burmese stupa.

The Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple was founded in 1803 on the 1st August and was originally called Nandy Moloh Burmese temple. Englishman George Layton sold the land to Burmese Nonya Betong for 390 Spanish dollars with official permission granted by the Lieutenant Governor of Prince of Wales Island, Sir George Leith Baronet. After receiving the land grant title, he (Betong) donated the land for the construction of Dhammikarama temple.

The Venerable U. Nandamala was officially the first Chief Abbot of Dhammikarama Burmese temple. It is currently under management of the seventh Chief Monk, the Ven. U Pannya Vamsa and assisted by the Ven. U Khema Wuntha.

Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple was identified as one of the fifteen historical sites to be launched under the "Visit Penang year 1988" in the state of Penang and is preserved as a most popular tourist attraction. To facilitate and complement the practice of Buddhism, the temple has a main shrine hall, a Sima hall, a dining hall, monk's quarters, preceptee's lodge, Sunday school, a library as well as a lecture hall.

Above: Panca-Rupa ( The Guardian Protector)
These winged chimeras known as World Guardian and Protector are unique and possess the qualities of the five best combinations.

The trunk and tusks of the elephant,
Four hoofed legs and two ears of the horse,
The lion-faced toe (chimera),
The deer's horn,
The body and tail of the fish,
And the two powerful wings of the Roe (Garuda).

Above: Gilded roof
The ornate gilded roof of the main prayer hall - Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple

Above: Pagoda
Inside the pagoda grounds is a Boddhi tree and a wishing pond.

Above: Altar at Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple

Above: Gardens in the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple
The temple grounds are renowned for their green and serene environment and has participated and was awarded the 1st prize in the state landscaping and beautification programme held in 1997 and 2001.

Above: Gardens in the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple
These made me think of Santa's reindeer - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen.
The gardens are absolutely beautiful and the landacaping just superb. As my time in Penang was limited, the best way for me to see what I really didn't want to miss was by doing tours. I didn't have the time here that I would have liked and you could easily spend a whole day here just wandering around. Should I ever be fortuate enough to return to Penang, I'd stay for a good week and take my time looking and drinking it all in.

Throughout the calendar year, the Dhammikarama Burmese temple carries out activities for Buddhist such as Water Festival, Wesak Day celebration, Pali Chanting classes, Observance of Buddhist lent, Festival of light (Soon Dawgi), Katnina, Ordination of monks, nuns and novices, Arahant Upaguttea festivals, Dhamma Discourses, Meditation classes, Sunday schools, offering of food to poor and candle lighting etc.

Above: Bell-bearing acolytes
Bell carriers in the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple gardens.

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