Light Fest in Malaysia’s First Glass Temple

Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple

A temple made of glass? Sounds peculiar but that’s what Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple has to offer.

The Glass Temple showcases an astounding play of glasses and lights, giving a magical atmosphere surrounding every corner of the temple. Embark on an amazing journey of cultural appreciation and architectural masterpiece in this wondrous sanctuary; a recommended inclusion to your bucket list.

The temple, located in the city of Johor Bahru, is one of the oldest temples in the state of Johor. Embellished with an array of approximately 300,000 pieces of colorful glass, the temple was included in Malaysia’s Book of Records in 2010, being the first and only glass temple in the country.

" prepared to feast your eyes on a spellbinding atmosphere of a light fest!"

Architectural Design

At first glance, the exterior of the temple will give a look of a typical Hindu temple, but once you’re inside, be prepared to feast your eyes on a spellbinding atmosphere of a light fest! The embellishment of various sets of colorful glass is truly the temple’s best feature, covering almost all surfaces of the temple, ranging from the domes, pillars, doors, walls, and ceilings.

The walls of the temple are also adorned with 300,000 Mukhi Rudraksha, with every one of the beads carefully embedded with the chanting of prayers. At the centerpiece of the temple, resides the Athma Lingam sanctuary, where Hindu devotees would perform their prayers to the lotus of Lord Shiva. Sets of chandeliers also graced the ceilings of the temple, finishing what proved to be a very delicate and elegant masterpiece of architecture all around the temple.

"...a magical manifestation of a basic tenet in Hinduism, the cycle of life."

Sculptures and Murals

The temple is also designed with a magical manifestation of a basic tenet in Hinduism, the cycle of life. 10 gold-finished sculptures occupied a section of a wall close to the ceiling, with each sculpture portraying the different stages of life from birth, youth, adulthood, old age, and death.

As a symbol of tolerance and respect to other religions, statues of Jesus Christ and Mother Teresa are positioned alongside other Hindu idols; a set of 10 white marble statues standing about 47 inches tall. Two mural paintings decorate two large panels on the ceiling, intended to bring a message of racial and social harmony in well-diversified Malaysia.

The first mural portrays the three most prominent races in Malaysia living in harmony; an Indian girl standing alongside a white cow, a Chinese girl standing next to a dog, and a Malay girl holding a cat. While the second mural portrays the spirit of the society, where a Christian, a Muslim, and a Buddhist are helping a Hindu after a motorcycle crash.

A Segment of History

The vision of creating a glass temple originated from the experience of one of the chief priests, where he stumbled across a brilliant blaze of light, portraying a diamond-like illustration. He was then informed that the light was actually a mixture of light and the glass artwork of a temple entrance.

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