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Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple

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Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho TempleKwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple (9 July 2006)


The Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple (GPS: 1.30086, 103.85291), also called the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy and written as Guan Yin Tong Temple, or simply Kwan Im Temple, is a Buddhist temple at Waterloo Street in Singapore. It is dedicated to Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, the Goddess of Mercy.

The Kwan Im Temple was started in 1884 at its present location. The building underwent a reconstruction in 1895. The original temple was built as a Chinese temple. Entry was via a large sheltered courtyard. The main hall then contained three altars, the central one for the Kuan Yin and one each for Da Moh, also known as Bodhidarma (the founder of Zen Buddhism) and Hua Tuo, a Chinese patron saint of medicine and healing, on the flanking altars. The statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha was kept in the rear hall.

During the Second World War, the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple did not suffer much damage while many buildings in the vicinity were destroyed. It provided refuge for the sick, the wounded and the homeless.

The Kwan Im Temple was extensively rebuilt in 1982 in order to increase its capacity. Now all the deities are placed on a single altar in the prayer hall. The statue of Sakyamuni Buddha is positioned next to Kuan Yin. The positions of other deities remain unchanged.

The Kwan Im Temple is one of the major temples in Singapore. It receives thousands of devotees every day, coming to pray for blessings from the Kwan Im. The temple is particularly busy during the first and fifteenth day of Chinese New Year. On the eve of Chinese New Year, the temple is opened all night and the street is packed with devotees praying to the Goddess for an auspicious start to the New Year.

Charitable work done by the temple includes the setting up of a Kidney Dialysis Centre at Simei, the setting up an educational bursary and providing treatment to anybody regardless of race. The temple was also involved in a national health screening programme and the setting up a professorship in computing at the National University of Singapore in 2000 by donating S$1.5 million. The temple also donated to the National Kidney Foundation Singapore and is a patron of the Singapore arts scene.

Getting there

Take the MRT East West Line to the Bugis MRT Station (EW12) and walk from there.

The Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple was granted Historic Site status in 2001.

Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is on the map of Waterloo Street

List of the Chinese Temples in Singapore

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