Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple

When we lived in Kuala Lumpur, I really enjoyed walking around the neighborhood and taking in the sites. We lived by Little India, which was filled with all sorts of Hindu shops and temples, and also by a little Buddhist section of town, so there were always really interesting things to see.

One day I decided to just wander and see where my feet took me and I ended up at this cute little Buddhist temple from 1895 that I’d never known was there before. The main gate is known as the Sanchi Main Gate, after the village of Sanchi in India, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This gate has a similar architectural style to the structures in that village, but it’s less elaborate and of a more contemporary design.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

One of the things I love about most religious sites is that they have such beautiful features. I really like the fountain at Maha Vihara.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

The flower in the center of the fountain is a lotus blossom. You’ll actually see these a lot at Buddhist sites. Lotus blossoms are an important symbol of faith to Buddhists and the symbology is that the mud the lotus flower roots into is the materialism of the world while the water the flower grows through is our experiences and the blossom flowering above the water is a person basking in the light of enlightenment. It’s actually a pretty neat allegory.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

Also on the grounds is a tower with a Buddha statue. I haven’t been able to find any information online about when this was built or how tall it is, but it’s still really neat.Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.The building the tower is attached to is a school, though it is also used for other things. There is a multi-purpose hall on the ground floor, the Buddhist Institute Sunday Dhamma School is on the first and second floor (second and third to Americans) and there are also a library, resource center and kindergarden rooms.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

Outside that building there is also a playground for the children. It was neat seeing the mix of old-style toys and a few of the more modern ones.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

Going past the toys you’ll come to an outdoor shrine area with a few Buddhas encased in glass. This is one of the areas where people can pray to the Buddha or leave offerings of flowers and fruit.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple. Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

The place I thought was really neat was the International Buddhist Pagoda.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple. Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

When I was first wandering around the area, I didn’t think I could go inside. I’m a bit on the shy side and didn’t even try to door, but a girl and her friend who were there praying came over to me and began talking to me about the temple complex and asked if I’d been inside the pagoda. When I said I hadn’t, she started gesturing fervently and told me I HAD to go inside. So, I went inside with her. They were doing maintenance work inside, but that didn’t distract too much from how amazing the room was.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

Buddha image from Tibet. It reads: This image is a gift from H.H. Dalai Lama of Tibet. Here again, the Buddha is depicted in the Bhumisparsa muda posture. ~ Gift from His Holiness Dalai Lama

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

The first Buddha ever venerated at Maha Vihara

The lighting was really bad and it was hard to get good pictures with the glare on the glass, but it was just so neat being able to see Buddhas that were from so many places.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

My little guide told me that families purchase Buddha statues to place the ashes of their loved ones. The bigger the statue, the more important the person was.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

Buddha from Mongolia. The sign reads: Traditionally used to house relivs of Buddhas and other holy personalities. ~Gift from His Holiness Khambo Lama of Mongolia, Ulan Bator

After getting my fill of the beautiful Buddhas in the pagoda I wandered around the grounds for a bit.

This stupa was built in memoriam of the Venerable Dr. Kirinde Sri Dhammanada Nayake Maha Thera.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

Venerable Dr. Kirinde Sri Dhammanada Nayake Maha Thera was the head monk of Maha Vihara from 1952 until his death in 2006. He was also the foremost Theravada monk in all of Malaysia and Singapore during that time.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

These pots are located outside the main shrine area. They are for devotees to light incense sticks and then pray before entering the shrine.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

The red building is the main shrine.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

Inside the main shrine are three depictions of Buddha. My guide told me that each one represents a different stage in the Buddhas path of enlightenment.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

Both of these Buddhas are in different styles of the abhāya mudrā position, which signifies fearlessness in the face of adversity. My guide told me that standing representations of the Buddha are indicative of his life and his quest for enlightenment.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

My guide said that a seated Buddha is representative of the Buddha’s life after he became Enlightened. The hands are in the bhūmisparśa mudrā position, which is known as Calling The Earth to Witness. This pose is a depiction of the moment of enlightenment for the Buddha. It represents unshaken strength and the truth of his commitment to liberation, which helped overcome the darkness challenging him right before he entered the Light.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

This statue depicts the Buddha in the last moments prior to the dying one last time before entering Nirvana. It is called the mahāparinabbāna pose.

Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

After walking through the different meanings of the statues and their hand positions, my guide talked to me a bit about Buddhism and how much she loves it. She told me she comes to this temple every afternoon to pray and that if I would like to receive a more in-depth tour, to give her a call and she’ll set up a time to show me around the entire complex and explain everything to me.

I’m a bit sad that I never took her up on that. Life happens and time goes by so fast when you’re not paying attention and 4 months later we were moving back to the US. But I did learn a lot and I really enjoyed visiting the Maha Vihara Buddhist temple. It’s amazing what interesting things you can find just by wandering around in your own neighborhood.

Have you ever wandered somewhere familiar and found something new?

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8 Replies to “Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple”

  1. Crystal

    Thanks for that informative and descriptive post. I’ve been to loads of places like this (having travelled India) and I love them all. I suppose my favourite one was the Tibetan temple I found in a small town called Bodhgaya in India (where the buddha became enlightened). The whole place was painted a vibrant blue with a gorgeous garden. You could stay there overnight for a donation. It was an enlightening place 🙂

    Reply
  2. Stephanie Pass

    What a beautiful place to visit! I love all the shrines. The gold and the statues, I can’t imagine visiting something so pretty. I just love the lotus flower fountain. A few years ago we lived in a neighborhood right in front of a buddist temple. It was so ornate and beautiful, too.

    Reply
  3. chbernard

    Wow that fountain is absolutely breathtaking! I love the bright purple flower, you don’t see that colour very often! Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful pictures with us, it makes it feel as if I were there!

    Reply
  4. Tammilee

    There is something so calming about Buddhist temples when you get to visit them. I would love to live by one of these temples. All of your photos turned out amazing of this temple and the area.

    Reply
  5. Reginia Cordell

    These images are stunning. We were in Kuala Lumpur in December and missed this gem. We missed Little India too. 🙁 I think the rain during that time put a huge damper on things. We were able to catch the highlights as well as the Batu Caves. Wandering through neighbors by foot definitely opens up a world of things usually missed while in transport or driving.

    Reply
  6. Theresa Pickett

    This looks like a really interesting and educational trip. I’m also really interested in other cultures, and I enjoyed learning more. It was nice to learn more about this lovely temple and I’m so pleased you stumbled across it. Thanks for sharing you experience!

    Reply
  7. Esme Sy

    Thank you so much for the amazing tour of the temple. Your pictures are beautiful and it almost feels like I am there, too and looking at all those Buddhas and beautiful views. I learned a lot of things today, especially about the lotus flower.

    Reply
  8. Joanne T Ferguson

    Thank you for allowing me to experience this most magical Buddhist Temple views! I have always been fascinated with temples around the world and their cultures and customs too! It is only by learning about other cultures and countries that we can appreciate our own!

    Reply

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