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Articles and information about Shuang Lin Monastery.

History

Our History Unfolds

Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery, an architecture masterpiece of the nineteenth century, also represents a unique pageant of Singapore history.

An amazing and eventful history of the Monastery relates back to the year 1858. Low Kim Pong, a young man of twenty from Zhangzhou County in the Fujian provine, China , left his hometown and set sail for Singapore in search of a living. Born into a poor family, he was nevertheless generous and industrious by nature. Starting off from small businesses, the devoted Buddhist Low Kim Pong eventually became a successful entrepreneur and an influential leader of the Fujian community in Singapore .

 

In 1898, both Low Kim Pong and his son dreamt of a sacred man, radiating golden light, approaching from the West to the water front. Believing this to be an omen and with a continuing enthusiasm, they went to the waterfront and waited patiently. A boadt finally arrived at dusk, with Venerable Xian Hui and his family of 12 monks and nuns.

 

They were actually stopping by Singapore , after six years of pilgrimage to India , Ceylon and Burma and were on their way home to Fuzhou County in Fujian.

 

Venerable Xian Hui and his entourage were invited to Low Kim Pong's home for a sojourn. During their stay, Low Kim Pong proposed to Venerable Xian Hui his vision of building a monastery in Singapore . So intent on having the famil to stay, he donated 50 acres of land in the central part of the island (the present day Toa Payoh New Town) to build the monastery and invited Venerable Xian Hui to be the founding abbot of the monastery.

 

The plan to build the Monastery received overwhelming support from the Chinese community in Singapore , Malaysia and Indonesia .

 

Apart from monetary support, they also deploy the resources of craftsmen from their hometowns Fuzhou , Quanzhou and Zhangzhou Counties in the Fujian province, as well as Chaozhou County in the Guangdong province to build the Monastery. Together they created a unique blend of architectural styles particular to each region yet harmoniously fused to reflect the immigrant society of Singapore at that time.

 

Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery, with its rich and diverse history, exhibits a magnitude and splendour beyong description. Coupled with the eleven years of restoration work since 1991, this centry old Monastery has finally regained its glory. Undeniably, Shuang Lin Shall become a milestone in the heritage of Singapore .

 

Historical value and characteristies include :

The oldest Buddhist monastery in Singapore .

 

The only Buddhist monastery in Singapore gazetted as a National Monument, symbolizing its historical and architectural value.

 

Built in accordance to the traditional Chinese courtyard layout the Heyuan concept

 

Has a unique blend of architectural styles from Fuzhou , Quanzhou and Zhangzhou Counties of Fujian province and Chaozhou County of Guangdong province in southern China .