The Penang Buddhist Association

Built in 1931, the Penang Buddhist Association is a prominent landmark situated on Anson Road in George Town. This historic building, showcasing the old Straits Eclectic style, serves as a vibrant hub for Buddhists in Penang, hosting a variety of religious and community events, including meditation sessions, Dharma talks, and cultural celebrations.

In addition to Wesak Day, the association attracts numerous visitors on the first day of Chinese New Year, when many come to offer prayers for the new year. The Penang Buddhist Association also plays a significant role in promoting Buddhist education and charity work, supporting various local initiatives and fostering a sense of community among its members. Its beautiful architecture and serene environment make it a must-visit destination for both devotees and tourists exploring Penang’s rich cultural heritage.

May 22nd is Wesak Day here.

Penang’s Kek Lok Si CNY Lightings in 2024

Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang is one of the largest and most famous Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia. It’s particularly renowned for its striking architecture, blending elements of Chinese, Thai, and Burmese styles. The temple complex also houses a towering seven-story pagoda, known as the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. Additionally, Kek Lok Si is home to a massive bronze statue of the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin, standing at a height of 30 meters (nearly 100 feet), making it one of the tallest of its kind in the world.

Penang Chinese New Year Scene at Kuan Yin Temple

Located in the heart of George Town, the old Kuan Yin Temple at Kapitan Keling Mosque Street is where age-old Chinese traditions come to life in a kaleidoscope of colors, scents, and sounds. On the first day of the Chinese New Year, this historic temple transforms into a bustling hub of activity as devotees and visitors alike flock to pay homage and seek blessings for the year ahead. Kuan Yin is also known as the Goddess of Mercy.

Penang Isle: Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani (The Waterfall Hilltop Temple)

As the largest temple dedicated to Lord Murugan outside India, the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple located in the Botanical Garden (or Waterfall) area of Penang was built at a cost of approximately USD 3.1 million and took five years to complete. The staircase of 512 steps leading up to the new temple was found to be longer than the 272-step the Hindu temple in Batu Caves, Selangor. The temple complex and its hill area also houses several other Hindu shrines as well as a massive statue of Lord Shiva.

The new temple features were inspired from the South Indian Chola and Pallava eras and mainly used imported materials from India.
The old temple is popularly known as the Waterfall Hill Temple or Lord Murugan Temple in the island and is also the main site of the annual Thaipusam pilgrimage.

Thaipusam Festival: Sri Mahamariamman Temple

The Sri Mahamariamman Temple on the Thaipusam evening. The Sri Mahamariamman Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in George Town and is located in Penang’s Little India along Queen Street.

Penang Weld Quay: Scenes from Jade Emperor’s Birthday Celebration

The celebration for the birthday of the Jade Emperor falls on the 9th lunar day of Chinese New Year and is celebrated mainly by the Chinese Hokkien community in Penang, which is also commonly referred to as the “Hokkien New Year”.

Two popular areas in Penang where this day is celebrated are the Jade Emperor Pavilion temple at Ayer Itam and the Clan Jetties area (such as the pictures below) at Weld Quay, George Town.

Penang Buddhist Association

Completed in 1931, the Penang Buddhist Association is located along Anson Road in George Town. The old Straits Eclectic style building is a popular place for Buddhists in Penang to participate in various religious and communal activities.

Apart from Wesak Day, many people also usually visit it on the first day of Chinese New Year for new year prayers.