The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple is especially famous for its 15 metres tall picturesque Thai style Buddha statue. Located along 336 Race Road the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple had been built by the Thai minority in order for Thai Buddhists to have their own temple and cultural base too. Let’s see what makes this beautiful temple outstanding.
Apart from being the centre of the Thai minority a large number of Buddhist visit this beautiful temple,in fact its among the highest visited Buddhist temples of Singapore. The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple is also known as the temple of one thousand lights and as you enter the gate going toward the giant Buddha statute we will see that the temple’s second name also applies very finely, by seeing the countless light bulbs surrounding the Buddha of the temple, which are especially beautiful in the evening. The giant Buddha statue of the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple weights 3000 tons! The temple was founded and built upon the plans of a Thai monk called Vutthisara. The beautiful Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple was built and opened in 1927. Apart from the giant statue there are beautiful Thai style extra colourful paintings depicting momentums from Buddha’s life.
Thai Buddhist style is quite remarkable by its outlooks and the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple wears strong thai influences, yet not containing that large number of outer decoration as the Buddhist temples in Thailand. The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple together with the other Thai Buddhist temple the Wat Ananda Metyarama Temple are the only two temples which serve for the congregation ceremony of Thai Buddhists. Thai Buddhism is traditionally the Theravada line of Buddhim which doesn’t differ from the mainstream Buddhism in many features but only by means of some smaller differences. Theravada Buddhism is the most ancient surviving line of Buddhism faith and it’s in fact the closest to the original Buddhism which later had been changed according to dozens of different influences. These years a revival of the original Theravada teachings has been noticed. The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple is a beautiful example of the traditional Theravada Buddhist temples yet it welcomes all Buddhists happily.
Behind the giant Buddha statue, there is another notably outstanding giant image of Buddha sitting in a reclined position toward the end of his life sitting under a yellow Seraka tree, which is ever since a very important tree you can see in several Buddhist temples and monasteries. This special image can be found in a separate chamber. Please note that no photographs are allowed to be taken of this image. When there is the Vesak Celebration Day, being the most important Buddhist celebration the worshippers are allowed to place a golden leaf onto a smaller Buddha statue of the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple and toward the end of the day, the small statue almost gets lost under the high number of gold leaves.
You can pay a free visit to the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, which is really worth because it’s a beautiful complex experience of culture and religion. There are no prescribed ethics in connection with the clothing yet do not enter if you are dressed too lightly for respective reasons. The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple is one of the most colourful Buddhist temples worth visiting.