The Dhammikarama Burmese Temple that locates opposite the more popular Wat Chaiyamangalaram Thai Buddhist temple actually has a much earlier period in its development history. Based on the record, it was founded way back in 1803 (officially, it was 1st. August, 1803). The 200+ years old temple was formerly called Nandy Moloh Burmese temple. According to temple's record, the land was purchased by a Burmese, NONYA BETONG from a British named George Layton for 390 Spanish dollar with official permission granted by Lt Governor Prince of Wales Island, George Leith Baronet. After receiving the land grant title, NONYA BETONG donated the land for the construction of Dhammikarama temple. Even today, the lane that houses two distinctive temples is named Burmese lane (many streets and alleys in Penang island still retained old British names). Technically, this Burmese temple can be regarded as the earliest Burmese Buddhist temple in Malaysia.
The main attraction for Buddhist and tourists alike are a historical Pagoda, a 200 years old well for early settlement of monks, the main shrine hall, and the Sime Hall where a very tall and large all-marble Buddha image situated. Due to its long history, this temple was designated as one of the fifteen Penang State Heritage Sites to be preserved as tourist attraction for Penang back in the Visit Penang Year, 1988.
Officially, the first Chief Abbot of Dhammikarama Burmese temple was Venerable U. NANDAMALA. The temple is currently under the management of the seventh Chief Monk. Partly due to Penang State Government identification as heritage site's funding as well as continual donation from public, the Dhammikarama Burmese temple is able to upgrade its many facilities. To further facilitate and compliment the practice of Buddhism in Penang, the temple currently has gone through some facelifts in various aspect which include the entra=nce arc, Siva hall, Dinning and visitors hall, monks quarters, Sunday school class rooms, a library and a lecture hall.
The temple compound is quite large actually, most often visitors may missed the rear section where the well and other attractions. Unlike the comparing neighbor Wat Chaiyamangalaram or the further away Wat Buppharam, Dhammikarama Burmese temple has a better green and serene environment. Actually, the temple was awarded first prize in Penang State landscaping and beautification Program competition that held back in year 2001.
Throughout the calendar year, the Dhammikarama Burmese temple carries out activities for Buddhist such as Water Festival, Wesak Day celebration, Pali Chanting classes, Observance of Buddhist lent, Festival of light (Soon Dawgi), Katnina, Ordination of monks, nuns and novices, Arahant Upaguttea festivals, Dhamma Discourses, Meditation classes, Sunday schools, offering of food to poor and candle lighting etc.
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Credit: To all the good people who have contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough in granting us the permission to use their images that appeared on this site. Note: Certain content and images appeared on this site were taken by using a Canon PowerShot Pro-1 digital camera. Some materials appeared on this site were scanned from some leaflets, brochures or publications published by Wat Pak Nam and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such dispute except rectifying