Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery is a beautiful site located in Singapore’s Toa Payoh district and its very famous for being not only the oldest Buddhist monastery of Singapore but also the only one which had been declared to be a national monument too. The huge area of the monastery today gives great chance for nice walk and relaxing activities.
Although its former territory of 40.000 square metres has diminished into being only the half because of the real-estate projects around its area the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery still occupies a great land in quite a beautiful and relaxing landscape, located further from the downtown area of Singapore. The Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery was built in 1902 by the cooperation of workers and Buddhists mostly from the Fujian province. The monastery’s outlook was inspired by the Xichang temple in the Fujian Province where the first venerable of the monastery has previously stayed in. The story of Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery is very inspiring. The wealthy Chinese businessman who previously owned the land on which the monastery is located had a strange dream followed by an interesting meeting of his with a group of Buddhists coming from Sri Lanka. The meeting has ended up with the wealthy businessman persuading the Buddhist group to stay in Singapore , donating them the huge land in order to help to promote Buddhism in the region. This is how Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery was born.
The Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery has a traditional Chinese setting including several interconnecting courtyards. The main building has three halls, the Celestial Kings Hall, the Mahavira Hall and the Dharma Hall each one containing some beautiful relics and Buddha sculptures for the devotees to pray at. There are several beautiful Chinese gardens and Pagodas perfect for walk and meditation. Although the monastery has shown signs of ruining, thanks to the many donations and the participation of Singapore ‘s state, the whole area has been renovated and the works took altogether 8 years, in order to give back the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery, its old shine making it a real beautiful worship place and tourist attraction in the same time. One of the most outstanding attractions of the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery is its beautiful seven-storey pagoda each roof featuring golden tops. This unique pagoda is in real the replica of the original Shanfeng Temple’s Pagoda being more than 800 year old. You can see beautiful sculptures featuring Buddha in several states and positions and also, you can learn a lot about Buddhism. If you are lucky and visit Singapore during a Buddhist celebration you will find the monastery full of life and worshippers.
Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery can be visited every weekday and there is free entry into its area. If you visit on the first and on the 15th day of any Chinese lunar month then you can taste some of the vegetarian specialties of the Buddhist monks living there. Don’t miss the chance to take a little excursion to this outstanding Buddhist complex the first Buddhist monastery of Singapore.