Founded in 1920 by Venerable Zhuan Dao, the KMSPKS is the largest Buddhist temple in Singapore, has a unique role to play in the hearts of Singaporean Buddhists. Over the years, it has helped promote the Buddha’s teachings, bringing the Dharma closer to the public. Since Phor Kark See Monastery is situated at Kong Meng San (“Bright Hill”, formerly “Hai Nan Mountain”), it came to be known as Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery. Phor Kark See developed from a remote temple into a monastery well known to all.
In 1920, Venerable Zhuan Dao built the temple as a place of practice to propagate the Dharma and to provide lodging for monks, as there were many Buddhist monks who came to Singapore without lodging. It was built in the midst of a rubber plantation situated at Kong Meng San, thus came the name of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (KMSPKS). It became the first traditional Chinese forest monastery in Singapore. Since Phor Kark See Monastery is situated at Kong Meng San (“Bright Hill”, formerly “Hai Nan Mountain”), it has come to be known as Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery.
Hall of Great Strength: The hall is dedicated to the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Above His image, a higher sign reads, “The Precious (or Treasure) Hall of Great Magnificence or ‘Great Strength’ or ‘Great Hero’.” A lower sign reads “Teacher of Men and Gods”. A glass stupa in front of the image of Buddha preserves some of His relics gifted to the temple by a well known temple of Sri Lanka. The Image of Buddha is surrounded by an image of Amitabha Buddha (behind), young Arahant Venerable Ananda (right) and an elder Arahant, Maha Kashyapa (left). The image of Amitabha Buddha has Avalokiteshvara or Guanyin Bodhisattva on the left and Mahasthamaprapta or Dashizi Bodhisattva on the right. Along with Amitabha Buddha, Guanyin Bodhisattva and the Maha Kashyapa form the trio called “The 3 Saints of the Western Paradise (Pureland).”
Hall of Amrta Vinaya (Precepts): This is the hall where monks and nuns receive their precepts, guidelines for leading a peaceful life while spreading happiness in society.
Dharma Hall: The two storey structure has a lecture hall on the ground floor with a Burmese-styled Buddha image and a library on the upper floor housing Buddhist scriptures and literatures. The Statue of Guanyin stands between the Dharma Hall and the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas.
Pagoda of 10,000 Thousand Buddhas: The roof of the pagoda has a golden stupa that is symbolic of the Buddha’s sharp piercing wisdom. Within, there is one of the largest bronze image of Medicine Buddha in Southeast Asia. Also seen are the thousands of small Buddha images.
For the pass 20 years, more than 6000 people from all walks of life, from Malaysia and Singapore, had taken refuge in the Triple Gem here. It is also an ideal place of practice for thousands of Buddhists. News about it was soon spread overseas by the Sangha who visited the place.
Scott & Little Monk
These monk statuelettes scatter the temple / monastery grounds
KMSPKS is located at 88 Bright Hill Road, Singapore 574117. If you are taking the by MRT, alight at Bishan MRT station and take bus 410 (white plate) or bus 52 from the interchange. It will bring you to the temple front gate within 10 minutes. Take a virtual tour of the place here.