Daily Archives: March 17, 2013

Visiting a new Buddhist temple

beautiful golden stupa

beautiful golden stupa

“Did you go to Thailand recently?”

“Is that the famous temple in Myanmar?”

Those are some of many questions asked by my friends after they saw the pictures above. What about you? Do you think that the building in the above picture is in Thailand or Myanmar, too? If that so, then you are wrong my dear friends. The building is in Indonesia. It is in North Sumatera to be precise, even it is not too far from Medan. You are not too wrong to think that the building is not in Indonesia, because the physical appearance of the building is like those in Myanmar. Yes, the building here is a replica of Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar, although the one in North Sumatera is not as big as the original one. The place is called Taman Alam Lumbini (Lumbini Natural Park). It is a Buddhist centre as well as the place for worship to the followers of Lord Buddha.

Taman Alam Lumbini was inaugurated with a great ceremony in October 2010. The ceremony itself was attended by more than 1300 monks and more than 200 lay people from various countries around the world.

The main building of Taman Alam Lumbini is a two storey building with a giant golden stupa above it. The stupa itself is 46.8 meters tall.

The building compound is surrounded by a brick wall with a very big gate. There are two pillars with dragons side by side the gate, and behind the gate there are two statues which depicting The Goddess of Mercy and Ksitigarbha Boddhisattva. There is also a tall pillar with small bells that tinkling loudly as the wind blows. Some similar small bells are also placed at the top of the main stupa.

Inside the wall, a beautiful garden with many Buddhist statues is surrounding the main building. Before the main building there is a plaza, which always crowded by visitors. There are also some stalls sell vegetarian foods in there.

In the main building, there is a giant hall with four marble Buddha statues facing to every cardinal directions. In front of every statue lay some cushions to be used by kneeling worshippers, and there are also four cone-shaped-rotated lamps which housing many small Buddha statues in the corner between every two marble statues.

Non Buddhist visitors are allowed to enter the hall, but they have to keep silent and not to disturb other people praying in there. To enter the hall, ones should take off their shoes. Taking pictures with other means than camera is not allowed in there.

Everybody is free to visit Taman Alam Lumbini. There are no tickets or admissions to enter the place, but please keep your manner and ethics while you are in the compound considering that the place is the place of worship.

 

Ringkasan :

Ketika pertama kali melihat foto-foto di atas tanpa membaca keterangannya, banyak teman menyangka bahwa foto-foto itu aku ambil di Thailand atau di Myanmar. Memang jadi tidak terlalu salah, mengingat bahwa bentuk bangunannya menyerupai bentuk bangunan-bangunan di sana. Tapi jangan salah lho, bangunan ini terletak di Indonesia, tepatnya di Sumatera Utara. Posisi tepatnya adalah di antara Berastagi dan Medan. Memang tidak tepat di tepi jalan raya yang menghubungkan kedua kota itu, tetapi dari jalan puncak stupa yang menjulang setinggi 46,8 meter itu kelihatan dengan jelas.

Bangunan yang merupakan replika Pagoda Shwedagon di Myanmar ini dinamakan Taman Alam Lumbini. Tempat ini dibangun untuk menjadi pusat Agama Buddha terbesar di Indonesia. Peresmiannya baru dilakukan pada akhir Oktober 2010 yang lalu, dengan dihadiri oleh lebih dari 1300 rahib dan lebih dari 200 perwakilan umat dari berbagai negara di dunia ini.

Kompleks Taman Alam Lumbini dikelilingi pagar tembok dengan sebuah gapura yang diapit pilar berwarna merah dan dililit oleh naga di kiri kanannya. Di belakang gapura tersebut, terdapat patung Dewi Welas Asih di satu sisi, sementara di sisi lainnya terdapat patung Boddhisatva Ksitigarba. Kalau kita melangkah melalui gapura, kita akan berada di sebuah pelataran luas di depan bangunan utama. Di sebelah kiri terdapat semacam tiang berwarna emas dengan patung-patung yang indah, dimana pada puncaknya tergantung lonceng-lonceng kecil yang akan bergemerincing akibat tiupan angin. Di puncak stupa di bangunan utama juga terdapat lonceng-lonceng kecil sejenis. Di salah satu sudut pelataran itu terdapat beberapa kios yang menjual aneka makanan vegetarian.

marble statue in the main hall

marble statue in the main hall

Bangunan utama di kompleks ini berbentuk sebuah aula besar yang terletak di bawah stupa. Di tengah aula terdapat empat patung Buddha yang terbuat dari batu marmer dan diletakkan menghadap ke empat arah mata angin. Di sudut-sudutnya, di antara dua patung Buddha, terdapat lampu berbentuk kerucut yang berputar dan didalamnya terdapat banyak sekali patung-patung Buddha berukuran kecil.

Semua orang, termasuk yang tidak beragama Buddha, diperkenankan berkunjung ke Taman Alam Lumbini, bahkan sampai masuk ke dalam bangunan utamanya. Untuk masuk tidak dipungut biaya apapun, hanya saja kita diminta untuk melepas alas kaki jika ingin memasuki bangunan utamanya. Selain itu, kita juga harus tenang dan menjaga kesopanan karena banyak juga orang yang berdoa di situ. Anehnya, kalau biasanya diberbagai tempat lain pengunjung dilarang memotret mempergunakan kamera, khususnya kamera-kamera serius (SLR), di sini justru sebaliknya. Pengunjung dilarang memotret mempergunakan kamera yang terdapat di handphone ataupun di perangkat lainny.–

Categories: Travel Pictures | Tags: , , , | 97 Comments

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