Early morning fire ravages 116-year-old Penang temple and Buddhist pilgrimage spot

The Kek Lok Si Temple, at left, and the temple on fire, at right. Photos: Supanut Arunoprayote, Sinar Harian
The Kek Lok Si Temple, at left, and the temple on fire, at right. Photos: Supanut Arunoprayote, Sinar Harian

Part of the centuries-old Kek Lok Si Temple in Ayer Itam, Penang was destroyed in a fire today.

The Paya Terubong Fire and Rescue Department received the notice about the fire involving a  50-feet-tall structure at 2.56am. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still being investigated.

“The damages were estimated at 70%,” fire department spokesperson Muhamad Norhisyam Ibrahim told reporters. 

Completed in 1905, the Kek Lok Si Temple is one of the largest temples in Malaysia that was built on 30 acres of land. It is a popular pilgrimage spot for Buddhists from all over Asia, including those from Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore.

The temple is also a tourist destination known for its 120-feet-tall Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) statue, 10,000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha, and seven-story Pagoda of the Ten Thousand Buddhas figure.

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