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Wat Phothivihan

 

The Wat Phothivihan Temple is the largest largest reclining Buddha in Malaysia. With a length of 40 meters it is 7 meters longer than the reclining Buddha on Penang, but it is a bit older. The Wat Phothivihan Temple is located between Kampung Ana and Kampung Berok, somewhere between Kota Bharu and the Thai border. The road to the 11 meter high reclining Buddha is 15km long.
This reclining (or sleeping) Buddha was completed in 1979. The statue is housed under a canopy, surrounded by murals on the side and smaller statues on the front. The monks have painted dress the Reclining Buddha orange.
At the back of the reclining Buddha is a columbarium. In the wall (the back) of the Reclining Buddha are small square niches, where family members can place the urns with ashes of their beloved deceased. Many of these recesses contain photos of the deceased and the offer. One of these booths had a few cans of Guinness, probably the favorite drink of the deceased, meant as refreshment in the hereafter.

In front of the Reclining Buddha there is an intricate Wheel of Dharma, which has a deep symbolic meaning in Buddhism. The Dharma wheel with eight spokes is the symbol of the Buddha proclaimed teaching on the path to enlightenment (how you can achieve enlightenment by yourself).
Although the Reclining Buddha is not that old, the temple turns out to be about 300 years. The ground of the temple is attractive and has various other sculptures and buildings. There is a Chinese pavilion and a hall in Tibetan style with a statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara with 18 arms, which is most respected among Buddhists. He is flanked by the statue of Kuan Yin Bohisattva on the left and the DiZang Wang Bodhisattva on the right. Four monks and two other employees maintain the temple complex.
There are also buildings on the grounds where monks and visitors can stay. There is also a restaurant where you can eat something.  

 

 


Wiel van Dharma

The region, where the temple with the Reclining Buddha is not far from the Thai border. It is striking that Buddhism (in the rather Islamic Kelantan) has many followers here. This is because many Thai immigrants have come to live here in the past. The predominantly Islamic south of Thailand has caused them to move to the more tolerant Kelantan through violence. They found their place against the Thai border. It is also noticeable here with the spicy food.


Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara

It is about 15 km northwest of Kota Bharu. It's not on the coast!
Take route 134 to Chabang Empat and then turn left for another 5 km on the D23.
The temple is located between Kampung Ana and Kampung Berok.
There is enough free parking and the entrance to the temple is free.
Donations are welcome.

 

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  Ben van Wijnen

 

 

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