Penang is one of Malaysia’s top tourist destinations for a reason. It has all the factors that you would require for a good vacation – beautiful beaches, excellent food, historical landmarks and friendly locals. The state also houses some of the most intricate architecture in terms of the breath taking temples that dot the island. One of the temples worth taking a look at would be the Dharmikarama Burmese Temple located along Lorong Burma which is just at the outskirts of Georgetown. The temple is open every day until about 5:00 p.m. and admission is free. However, to enjoy real tranquillity, you are advised to go as early in the day as possible before other tourists arrive.
Although a predominantly Buddhist temple, the Dharmikarama is very much steeped in Burmese culture. It is apparent and obvious from the architecture around the temple grounds. Many people often have the misconception that the Dhamikarama is a Thai Buddhist temple – in fact, there is one just opposite the road. However, it is only when they step foot in Dhamikarama Burmese temple that they start to appreciate and enjoy the subtle differences. Looking around, tourists will note that the statues and works of art peppered all over the temple actually reflect on different Buddhist teachings from various countries. You would not need to be an expert on Buddhism in order to enjoy the sights and sounds around the Dhamikarama. However, knowing a little bit more than the normal tourist would definitely enhance your enjoyment of the experience and would also play a huge part in preserving culture and ecotourism.
Within the Dhamikarama Burmese temple, you will find beautifully landscaped gardens as well as an interesting bell tower. It is interesting to note that you can actually go up the bell tower and look down the grounds below. You can also walk around and take a look at the many smaller temples within the main grounds. These are all steeped in Burmese culture and you will even be able to take note of the subtle differences in the design and the way that the temples and statues are built. Even the artwork would be predominantly based on Burmese culture and that is why the artwork would differ from what you’re used to seeing in other places.
One of the best places to go to at the Dhamikarama Burmese temple is the complex where is displayed the paintings of Lord Buddha through the years. From the paintings, you will begin to appreciate the life that he led and the many different trials that he went through before achieving enlightenment. Each painting tells a different story and is beautifully executed as well. This complex also boasts tranquillity and you will be able to immerse yourself in your surroundings with little interruption. One good thing about the Dhamikarama Burmese temple is that it is littered with spots where you can enjoy the sights without too much noise.
If you are keen to find out more about the Buddhist faith, you can always have a chat with some visiting monks who stay in the hostel within the temple grounds. These monks surely have wonderful stories to share and it will enhance your experience by getting some real life introspection into the religion. Before you leave, don’t forget to drop by the wishing pond. Whether or not your wishes will come true is one matter; however, you can always see visitors throwing a coin or two into the pond just for good luck! Either way, it is a nice way to end your visit to this beautiful temple.
There is nothing like a visit to a temple to give you a better idea of the culture of the place you are visiting. The Dharmikarama Burmese temple is one such place situated in Penang which will give you many happy memories of your holiday there. As a responsible traveller, do be mindful to keep the temple grounds clean at all times so dispose of your waste at the receptacles situated all over the temple. Also, when visiting religious sites in this part of the world, it is always better to be modestly dressed. By following local culture and custom, you will be able to enjoy a better experience and take back something more from your vacation here.
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