If you are looking to visit a temple in Singapore, be sure to stop by the famous Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple in Toa Payoh. Seated on 50 acres of land donated by a devout Buddhist, Low Kim Pong, the genesis of this temple is a story to behold. An influential leader in Singapore’s Fujian community, Low Kim Pong was a self-made businessman who found success after setting sail from his hometown in Fujian, China.
In 1898, both Low Kim Pong and his son dreamt of a sacred man radiating golden light arriving at the waterfront. Believing that this was an omen, they waited at the waterfront, where the Venerable Xian Hui and his family of 12 monks and nuns eventually arrived at dusk.
Low Kim Pong was so intent on having the family stay that he donated 50 acres of land in the central part of the island (which eventually became the present-day Toa Payoh New Town) to build the monastery and invited Venerable Xian Hui to be the founding abbot. The building of the monastery was big news back in the day, and received an outpouring of overwhelming support from the Chinese community in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Today, the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple stands more than a century old, with much of its age-old glory restored with 11 years of restoration work put in since 1991. It now commands an undeniable prominence in the global cultural landscape of Singapore, attracting local and global visitors of different ethnicities and religious backgrounds.
Whether you are visiting to take in the unique architecture that blends various styles from the Fujian and Guangdong province in Southern China, or making a pilgrimage for religious purposes, all visitors are welcomed at the monastery.