Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple
The Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple is not only known as a major Hindu temple in Johor Bahru, it is also one of the top tourist attraction in the city. In 2010, the temple was listed as the first and only glass temple in Malaysia on Malaysian Books of Record.
The temple is located next to the railway tracks between Jalan Tun Abdul Razak and Jalan Mohd Taib. It was initially built on 1922 as a shelter on the land gifted from the Johor Sultan.
The current temple chairman and chief priest, also known as Guru Bhagawan Sittar inherited the administration of the temple from his father in 1991. The Guru rebuilt the temple upon inheriting it. He got the inspiration to rebuild the temple in glass during his trip to Bangkok. He saw a light shining like a diamond from afar and discovered later that the bright light was a temple. When he went to the temple, he found out that the glass artwork at the temple entrance was the bright light that had caught his eyes.
Amazed by that experience, it inspired him to use the same technique for the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Temple. He believed a temple fully embellished with impressive glass artwork will attract local devotees and visitors from the world over. The temple was reopened to public in 1996.
At least 90 per cent of the temple structures are embellished by a mosaic of 300,000 pieces of red, blue, yellow, green, purple and white glass. The light form each well placed chandelier made the the interior of the temple look brightly lit.
The temple is fully air-conditioned. It also equipped with a café that serves vegetarian meals and a function hall to cater for special events held at the temple.
There are a number of sculptures located at several part of the temple. For example, there are 10 gold-finished sculptures close to the ceiling. These sculptures portray the cycle of life, from birth, youth, adulthood, to old age and death. There are also ten white marble statues that represent messengers of God such as Gautama Buddha, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Sai Baba and Mother Teresa. The Guru believes that the visitors of other faiths will be happy to see them here.
Besides sculpture, murals also add the character to the temple. On the temple’s left wing, there are two large panels on the ceiling painted to promote a universal message of social and racial harmony. One picture shows a cow is next to an Indian girl, a dog near a Chinese girl and a Malay girl holds a cat in her arms. The other picture shows a Hindu motorcyclist being helped up people from other faith when he fell off his motorcycle.
Image by: Lee Henry FB
Daily: 7.00 a.m to 10.00 p.m
Daily: 1.00 p.m and 5.00 p.m
With MyKad: free
Without MyKad: RM 10.00
Hear From Others
While the temple is small, the mirrored finish to the interior does differentiate it from other Hindu temples in the country. The glass allows you to take interesting photographs while playing with the reflections. Perhaps if you are in Johore Bahru and passing-by the area, it is worth a stop to view it.
It was enlightening to visit Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple for its open acceptance of different religions. The temple challenged the confines of my mind about faith and I’m glad I left a bigger person. Or so I would like to think 🙂
Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman is the first glass Hindu temple in the world and the only one in Malaysia. Temple called “Glass” because it’s decorated with glass inside and outside. The temple looks really beautiful, especially on a sunny day with blue skies, when glass shines.
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