Enlightened Heart Buddhist Temple is a sprawling Tibetan temple complex with a tall pagoda tucked away in a hidden valley in the Tambun district of Ipoh, Perak.
This temple, with its imposing 13 storey pagoda and large standing Buddha statue, should be one of the top tourist attractions in Perak but it appears to be less visited than it deserves, perhaps due to its out-of-the-way location.
The pagoda, known as the Enlightened Heart Medicine Buddha Bhaishaya Guru Pagoda, measures 72 metres in height making it one of the tallest in the world, though far behind the Tianning pagoda in China which, at 154 m, is over double the height.
The design of the pagoda is unconventional with an enormous opening from the 8th floor upwards through which an 11 metre high gold coloured Shakyamuni Buddha statue overlooks hills, ponds, and pomelo farms towards Ipoh city.
Surrounding the pagoda are a number of pavilions and buildings containing statues of deities, Buddhas, guardians, mythical creatures and more. Tibetan prayer wheels and prayer flags line the walkways. There is a wheel of fortune which devotees are instructed to walk around in a clockwise direction and to use their right hands to turn the wheel. Throughout the temple the walls are decorated with carvings, paintings and Buddhist scriptures. Here is an example of one of the verses of wisdom:
There is never anything good
In talking of others’ shortcomings
Spreading rumours about the wrongdoings of others
Is a wrongdoing in itself.
The temple was established in 1976 by Ge Li Rinpoche who used to be known as Yong Si Fu until he gave up his home life to pursue the practice of Nyinma Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of his teacher Ng Yuen Kong Rinpoche. Ge Li’s teachings are to:
Following his own teachings, he built the pagoda for people to come and seek cures for illness, to pray for a long life and to practice Buddhism
The pagoda’s interior has a hollow atrium. The appearance of the temple is certainly striking though the gaudy colours and kitsch decor may not be to everybody’s taste. The quality of construction materials used and the workmanship is not all that it could be but the place is fascinating all the same. It’s a shame it is not busier. One time when it does get busy is Wesak Day. On this year’s Wesak Day, 3rd May 2015, thousands of devotees descended on the temple to pray for wisdom and good fortune. They unfurled a 60 m by 12 m ‘thangka’ which is a giant scroll illustrated with Buddhist images.
Next door to Enlightened Heart Buddhist Temple is another Buddhist temple and monastery called Persatuan Penganut Dewa Jingang Jing She.
Open daily from 9am to 5pm.
There is no entrance fee but donations are welcome. There is a shop selling items relating to Buddhism.
I have marked the exact location on the map on my Top Perak Attractions page.
From Highway 1 in the Gunung Rapat area of Ipoh near McDonalds turn east onto Jalan Rokan. Continue on this road which changes its name to Jalan Tambun Baru. Follow the road which passes underneath the North-South Expressway and then bends to the left. Take the third turning on the right after the bend. You will see these signposts:
You will soon see the Enlightened Heart Buddhist Temple off to the right and you will reach it after a few more twists and turns.
Google Maps gives the GPS Coordinates: 4°36'10.8"N 101°09'19.1"E