On a secluded spot on the Po Fook Hill in Sha Tin near Wan Chai hotel Hong Kong lies Hong Kong’s popular 10,000 Buddhas Monastery. Uninhabited by Buddhist monks, the temple is home to approximately 13,000 unique Buddha statues from which the temple derives its name. The Monastery, also called ‘Man Fat Tsz’, was founded in 1949 by Reverend Yuet Kai who foresaw the temple’s construction for nearly a decade. The centrally located Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong offers guests easy access to this unique Buddhist temple.
A steep paved path lined by 500 distinctive, life-sized gilded statues of Arhan Buddhist monks leads to the first of the temple’s two terraces. Located in the lower terrace, the walls of the ‘10,000 Buddhas Hall’ is lined with hundreds of one-of-a-kind miniature gold ceramic Buddha statues each bearing the names of its donors. The most important object within the hall is the revered ‘Diamond Indestructible Body of Yuexi’, the embalmed and gold leaf painted body of Reverend Yuet Kai which is found amidst three large gilded Buddha statues before the main altar.
Opposite the Main Hall sits the famous pagoda which was once featured in Hong Kong’s $100 currency. This nine-storey pagoda contains an internal spiral stairwell allowing visitors to admire the Buddha statues that sit on window ledges on each level as they climb to the top of the pagoda for a spectacular view of Sha Tin. At the foot of the pagoda are statues of Buddhist monks while the nearby 18 Arhan Gallery showcases 18 life-sized statues of Buddha’s most important disciples among the numerous pavilions and other colourful Buddhist statues.
In the Monastery’s upper terrace are four halls dedicated to the Avalokitesvara, Ksitigarbha, Cundi and Amitabha bodhisattvas. A two storey columbarium, the Amitabha Hall houses the golden Amitabha Buddha statue and has walls lined with gold framed drawers that contain ashes of the deceased. The Jade Emperor Hall, Naga Puspa Court, Yuexi Pavilion and the dazzling white Kwun Yam statue are also found in the temple’s upper terrace.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.