On my second day in Kuala Lumpur I had the chance to visit the Royal Wat Chetawan, which I saw on the way to a dāna in Petaling Jaya. We arrived there in the heat of the day and walked round for about an hour. We didn’t meet any of the monks, who were probably resting after the meal. Here is some history adapted from the Wikipedia page on the temple.
In 1956, Phra Kru Palat Vieng, a veteran member of the Sangha and an old time resident of Kuala Lumpur initiated the idea of building a sizeble Buddhist Temple close to the federal capital of Kuala Lumpur. After two acres of land was allocated by the Selangor State Government, an adjacent piece of land measuring two and half acres was acquired through donations collected from well-wishers and Phra Kru Palad Vieng’s own savings.
Besides the generous donations from well-wishers, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand’s personal contribution towards the building funds had generated greater enthusiasm amongst those who aspired for the successful completion of the Temple. The Government of Malaya also rallied to the good cause by giving a grant through the Prime Minister, Yang Berhormat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.
As the planned structure was to reflect the finest of Thai Temple architecture, the Fine Arts Department of Thailand in Bangkok was commissioned to draw up the architectural plans and to oversee the construction of the Temple building. With a combined workforce of local builders and skilled craftsmen from Thailand, the main shrine hall or Vihara was finally completed in 1962.
The structure, heavily gilded in gold leaves, intricately decorated with multi-coloured glass tiles, and crowned with a multi-tiered roof trimmed with chor fahs, represented the most stunning Thai temple architecture in the Klang Valley. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand had granted Royal Consent for His Majesty’s Royal Insignia to be mounted on the front gable of the building.
Today, Wat Chetawan, being one of the few royal sponsored temples outside Thailand, stands complete as a temple complex with the distinctive structures such as The Uposatha Hall, The Teaching Hall, The Bell Tower, The Monks’ Kuti, The Dining Room, The Brahma Pavilion, The Kuan Yin Pavilion, The Columbarium, the upcoming Maitreya Buddha Pagoda and Temple Monument Sign.
For the high-definition files, slideshow and more photographs please see the SOURCE.
Main Shrine Hall
Shrine Hall Window
Statues outside the Main Shrine Hall
Buddha and Jewels
Gold Plastered Luangpor
Luangpor and Buddha
Chinese Shrine at Bodhi Tree
Tua Peh Kong and Bodhi Leaves
Kuan Yin and Multiple Gods
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