by Anne Das
At the foot of Ipoh’s picturesque limestone hills in Tambun, The Enlightened Heart Buddhist Temple, or known as Jingang Jing She temple, stands out for its colourful structures and tranquillity. To reach there, take a narrow road surrounded by lush greenery, picture-postcard valleys, pomelo farms, orchards, and beautiful lakes.
Be mindful when travelling on the road with wild plants on both sides; it allows only one moving vehicle at a time.
At the temple, you will enjoy exploring its expansive grounds that lead to Ipoh’s largest Buddha statue situated on a limestone hill.
There are more than 200 statues displayed inside, each with its own significance. The decorations, statues, deities, and paintings interestingly differ from the orthodox Buddhist or Taoist temples.
Surrounding the temple are several pavilions and buildings filled with statues of deities, Buddhas, guardians, mythical creatures and more. Tibetan prayer wheels and prayer flags line the walkways. There is also a 20-feet-tall wheel of fortune, which devotees are instructed to walk around in a clockwise direction and to use their right hands to turn this huge wheel. It is said to reduce one’s ‘karma’ in this lifetime.
The architecture and the design is so impressive, detailed, and colourful. It is serene, spiritual, and enchanting. With many staircases leading to the top of this 13-storey Pagoda; it feels almost like a maze. Upon reaching the top, you will see a golden statue of Lord Buddha with open hands, overlooking Ipoh.
The temple is very quiet on normal days; there were about a total of 10 people or less there on a Saturday morning. Other than Wesak day, it is usually very quiet and peaceful with Buddhist chants reverberating throughout this beautiful structure making it a surreal experience. A hidden gem in Perak worth the visit!
The temple is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission is free and donations are appreciated.
Off Jalan Ampang (Jalan Ampang Baru 6 in Google Maps)
Tambun, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
GPS: E101 8 41.4 N4 35 45.4
The Enlightened Heart Tibetan Buddhist Temple was established by a local named Yong Si Fu, who took on the name of Ge Li Rinpoche after he embraced Nyingma Tibetan Buddhism. What started on a modest scale in 1976, now comprises a sprawling 12-acre Tibetan Buddhist temple complex of halls, gardens, and pagodas, with numerous statues of the Buddha and other religious iconography. Today the Enlightened Heart Temple is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in the country.
The temple’s most striking feature is its multicoloured pagoda. Standing at 13-stories and 236 feet (72 metres) in height, it is one of the tallest pagodas in the world. From the eighth floor of the pagoda, a high gold sheened Shakyamuni Buddha statue gazes out over the Kinta Valley toward the city of Ipoh.