Your Complete Guide to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
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Your Complete Guide to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is not only a place of worship but also a repository of a professed sacred tooth relic of Buddha, making it a vital pilgrimage site for Buddhists from around the world. 

The relic is believed to be over 2,500 years old and is displayed in a stupa made of 320 kilogrammes of gold!

Fancy visiting this architectural and historical marvel? Join me on a virtual exploration of this unusual museum in Singapore’s Chinatown district.

Things to Know

— From btrts_singapore


Address: 288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840 (Google Maps)

Operating hours: Daily, 7 AM to 5 PM

Buddhas of the World Museum hours: Daily, 9 AM to 5 PM

Popular times: Tuesdays to Thursdays between 9 AM and 3 PM

Best times: Weekdays, especially during the morning or early afternoon, tend to be less crowded, allowing you to explore the temple with more tranquillity.

Festivals and ceremonies: Consider aligning your visit with significant dates on the Buddhist calendar, such as Vesak Day, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and passing of Buddha. These times may offer a more immersive experience.

Etiquette: Visitors are expected to dress respectfully during their visit. Indecent or offensive attire may result in denied entry. 

Inappropriate clothing examples: short skirts, miniskirts, shorts, low-cut tops/dresses, open/low back attire, off-the-shoulder attire, spaghetti straps, and tube tops

It’s not allowed to bring pets or non-vegetarian food onto the premises. Silence is to be maintained throughout the visit.

PWD accessibility: Wheelchair access

Photography: Not allowed at Level 4

Restrooms: Toilets available

Fees: Free admission

How to Get to Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

— From jamcansing

Bus: Take the 80 or 145 Buses to reach the temple. Alight at the South Bridge Road bus stop, just a minute’s walk from the temple.

Maxwell Rd FC Bus Stop (05269) and Opp Sri Mariamman TP Bus Stop (05189) are the nearest bus stops.

Train: To get to the temple via MRT, take the Chinatown-bound train. Exit A, turn right onto South Bridge Road, and you’ll find yourself near the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

The nearest MRT stations are Maxwell [TE 18] – Thomson-East Coast Line, Telok Ayer [DT 18] Downtown Line, and Chinatown [NE 4] [DT 19] Northeast Line, Downtown Line.

Car: Use your preferred navigation app or GPS to reach the temple’s vicinity at 288 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058840. 

Parking: Commercial parking is available at BTRTM and 15 Smith Street. There are also public car parks by Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, URA Centre, or People’s Park Centre. 

The temple’s car park rates are the following:

Monday to Thursday (excluding public holidays)

  • 7 AM – 7 PM: S$0.60 per 30 minutes or part thereof
  • Midnight – 11.59 PM: S$6.50 for the 1st hour, S$1.10 ½ hours or part thereof, capped at S$13.10 per day

Taxi alternatives: Use local taxi booking apps like ComfortDelGro (Comfort Taxi) or SMRT (SMRT Taxis). The Grab app is also available.

What to Expect

— From darren53

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is a captivating blend of spiritual reverence, architectural splendour, and cultural significance. Here are some fascinating things you can expect during your visit there.

Sacred Relic  

— From btrts_singapore  

The Buddha Tooth Relic rests in a 3,500 kg stupa made out of 320 kg gold, with 234 kg donated by devotees. Only monks access the relic chamber, but visitors can view it from the public area.

The Sacred Buddha Relics Chamber holds profound significance as a revered sanctum within the temple.

Architectural Marvel

— From btrts_singapore

The temple’s architecture draws inspiration from the Tang dynasty, reflecting the rich heritage of Buddhism. The design draws inspiration from the Buddhist Mandala, which symbolises the universe.

Venerable Chao Khun Fa Zhao BBM led the design of the BTRTM building, incorporating Tang Dynasty art into its core. A team of local and overseas consultants contributed to its conceptualisation. 

Its intricate design, ornate details, and vibrant colours create a serene and immersive environment that transports visitors to a different era—truly breathtaking!

Five Levels of Wisdom

— From ravegroup.travels

The temple spans five levels, each dedicated to a different aspect of Buddhist teachings. These levels house various artefacts, relics, and themed exhibits that provide a comprehensive insight into the life of Buddha and the evolution of Buddhism.

I was amazed to find displays of the revered Buddha artefacts, including his supposed bone and tongue, on the third-floor Buddhist Culture Museum.

Cultural Treasures

— From maureen. 

Beyond its religious significance, the temple also showcases a wide array of cultural artefacts, ranging from rare scriptures and artworks to ancient Buddhist artefacts. 

These exhibits offer a unique opportunity for visitors to explore the historical and artistic facets of Buddhism.

Spectacular Ceremonies

— From btrts_singapore

Throughout the year, the temple hosts a series of vibrant festivals and ceremonies that celebrate Buddhist traditions and culture. 

These events, such as Vesak Day and the Emperor’s Birthday, attract locals and tourists alike, providing a chance to experience the temple’s vibrant energy and sense of community.

You can refer to the annual calendar on this link.

Eco-Friendly Initiatives

— From btrts_singapore

The temple is committed to sustainable practices, incorporating environmentally friendly features such as a rooftop garden with over 100 species of plants, rainwater harvesting systems, and solar panels

These initiatives highlight the temple’s dedication to both spiritual and ecological well-being.

Cultural Exchanges

— From zhakamizhako

The temple often hosts cultural and educational exchange programmes such as the SUTD Scholarship to promote merit-based education access and offer opportunities to students, including those in financial need.

These programmes welcome practitioners and enthusiasts from diverse Buddhist traditions to share their knowledge and insights. This fosters a sense of unity and understanding among Buddhists from various backgrounds.

Things to Do

View the Tooth Relic Chamber

— From alespal

While monks have special access to the relic chamber, you can still catch a glimpse of the sacred Buddha Tooth Relic from the public viewing area. It’s truly touching to see how devoted people pay their respects to this cherished relic.

Explore Buddhas of the World Museums 

— From dagalifestory

Upon entering the Buddhas of the World Museum, you’ll be welcomed by the stunning Standing Buddha Shakyamuni from the Gandhara period (2nd to 3rd century), acquired from notable auction house Christie’s.

This museum is filled with treasures celebrating Buddhist culture, history, and art. Check out intricate religious objects, sculptures, and relics that reveal the fascinating evolution of Buddhism through time.

Visit the Sacred Light Hall

Head up to the fourth-floor Sacred Light Hall, which many consider the heart of the temple. Get ready to be amazed by its beauty, the intricate decorations, and the serene Buddha statue that just exudes calmness.

The chamber opens daily from 9 AM to 6 PM, with the curtain raised after the Sangha’s blessing ceremony. The Sangha conducts services in the inner chamber, while the public observes from the viewing area.

Please note that no photography is allowed on this floor.

Stroll through the Roof Garden

— From ovi_siriwardena

Take a peaceful stroll through the temple’s serene rooftop garden. Admire the lush greenery, water features, and picturesque views of the surrounding area, providing a calming oasis in the midst of the city.

The open orchid garden features a variety of Dendrobium Buddha Tooth orchid plants, alongside other orchids, local trees, and shrubs.

Participate in the daily Buddhist ceremonies

— From btrts_singapore

You can also witness or participate in daily Buddhist ceremonies and rituals that take place within the temple. These rituals offer a chance to observe traditional practices and gain insight into the spiritual aspects of Buddhism.

Engage in offerings and prayers

— From pauldecathelineau

Join the practice of making offerings and offering prayers at various altars throughout the temple. This is an opportunity to connect with the spiritual ambience of the temple and engage in personal reflection.

Join meditation sessions

— From climd8

Meditation sessions are held within the temple if you want to join them. These sessions provide a serene environment to practice mindfulness and connect with your inner self, guided by experienced instructors.

The second floor houses the Aranya Hall, a spacious room dedicated to Buddhism and meditation classes where both devotees and visitors can learn and embrace Buddhist teachings.

Visit the learning centre

— From btrts_singapore

Explore the temple’s learning centre and engage in readings, study materials, and resources related to Buddhism, spirituality, and philosophy. There’s also an online resource on the Sutras which you can access at any time.

Buy something from the gift shop

— From taactzerog

Take a leisurely stroll through the temple’s gift shop. It’s like a little treasure trove! 

Discover an array of Buddhist-inspired goodies, from artefacts and books to trinkets you can wear. It’s the perfect way to carry a bit of the temple’s magic with you.

There’s also an e-shop where you can purchase anything from sandalwood incense to a colourful tourmaline crystal bracelet.