While exploring China Town, I came across two different temples: The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Sri Mariamman. I've never seen these types of temples before, so I was happy for the opportunity to look around.
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a large and prominent temple situated in China Town, Singapore. During my visit, there was a service taking place inside, and a large number of persons were taking part. I didn't want to intrude so I admired the temple from just outside the door instead.
Although I didn't really understand what was going on in the service, it was captivating to watch the attendees going through their solemn motions, and the buddhist chants which echoed throughout the temple were almost melodious.
Inside, the walls were filled with goregous paintings, and there were several shrines where people kneeled to pray. I didn't want to be disrespectful, so although I would have loved to photograph the event, I refrained from doing so.
The exterior of the temple was a different situation however, and it was quite a beauty to photograph. The temple was of a shocking red colour, and the design reminded me of temples in China and Japan. Chinese lanterns were strung about the temple, giving the area a distinct Oriental atmosphere. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple deserves all the attention it receives as a great attraction in Singapore.
Sri Mariamman Temple
This is a Hindu Temple located only a few steps away from the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. I was very intrigued by the designs and stautes which were sculpted on the entrance tower of the temple. The details on the statues were beyond elaborate, and they appeared to be painted in all the colours of the rainbow. These statues were built in several layers, each layer smaller than the one before. The artwork which was poured into the creation of the tower was extraordinary.
While I gazed on the outside of the temple, a man came outside to greet me. I was rather surprised, but he seemed keen on explaining to me the different features of the temple. He insisted that I take off my shoes and actually have a proper look around. I stored my sandals into a box provided at the doorway, and silently entered the hall.
There were people praying in the main room, so I didn't want to impose. Instead, I walked around the courtyard where I could see more of the fascinating sculptures up close. I never had any previous experiences with the Hindu culture, so I was very interested in everything around me. I even read some of the plaques which hung on the walls outside, much to the interest of my new friend.
He then told me that there was to be a very exciting event taking place at the temple the following night. Apparently, men would be walking on hot coals! I've never heard of such as thing, and thought that it would be a great experience to have. He gave me a flyer with the history of the temple, and the different events which were being held that week. I thanked him for his help and left. Sri Mariamman was gorgeous, and I enjoyed my short visit inside.