An African Buddhist Temple

As shown in a previous post, my family and I discovered the Buddhist Temple that was opened officially in South Africa in 2005. We had been driving along the N4 to Witbank when we saw the Temple building in the distance. My husband remembered reading about its opening in the paper and mentioned that he would like to see it one day. “What better time than the present?” I responded. So we took the time to look for our way off the highway, and to find the entrance to this religious place.

We knew we had succeeded when we saw the archway leading to Nan Hua Temple.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Archway leading to Nan Hua Temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

As we approached the building, we were impressed by the architecture and the colours.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Approaching Nan Hua Temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The carvings and detail were so beautiful, we spent quite a bit of time gazing at it in wonder. And we had not even yet entered the property!

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The entrance to the temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Once inside, we were surrounded by tranquillity – a peacefulness that seemed to be reflected in the the beauty of the inner buildings.

The one side of the temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The outer courtyard was as impressive as the inner one. We kept looking around and found it difficult to focus on just one aspect of the beauty before us.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The outer courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The inner courtyard was as beautiful as the outer one (a picture can be seen in my previous post), only more spacious. The ramps leading to the buildings seemed to blend in harmoniously with the setting.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The inner courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Walking up to one of the structures, I noted the intricate detail that had been painted onto the building. Not only the painting, but the construction itself of the detail, must have taken years to create.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A close up. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The temple is sprinkled with stone lions: guardian lions that are traditionally believed to protect the temple.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Stone lion. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

These stone lions are an integral part of the temple and proudly stand guard.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Stone lion in the inner courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The detail of the main building is mirrored even in the corner towers of the courtyard. The beauty and majesty of the towers stand out beautifully against the blue of the African sky.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A tower in the courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We peeked into the temple but did not enter as there were people praying and we did not want to disturb them. I snapped a quick picture of the altar.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The altar inside the temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Coming out of the temple looking down the stairs, this is the view we saw:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Looking down the stairs. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We strolled along the passages of the buildings that create the courtyard. We noted that the place is well kept and well maintained.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Some passageways. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

While walking along the corridors, we saw a different perspective of the buildings and noted upstairs rooms where he monks surely stay.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A building along the courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The inner courtyard is large and from the inside looking in, one can understand the depth of it.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Looking in from the side of the inner courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We enjoyed our trip to the Buddhist Temple. Afterwards, we walked across to the cultural centre where we ate some fare made by the monks: dumplings and a noodle soup. Simple, and yet so delicious!

Have you visited a Buddhist Temple?

Two people inspired me to share my visit with you: Jake with this week’s prompt of Focused Attention; and The Island Traveller with his prompt Places.)

40 thoughts on “An African Buddhist Temple

  1. My, that’s beautiful, Colline. I was fortunate enough to visit Bangkok. I don’t think it is possible to view a Buddhist temple and not be awestruck. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.


  2. Absolutely spectacular and great photography, my love for these temples dates back to my war days in South East Asia, they are truely works of art and you have captured them beautifully.


  3. Fascinating and great photos too. We spent nearly a month in Japan in 2005- my husband was able to work there and I took a leave from teaching and took the kids out of school. We saw tons of Buddhist and Shinto temples and shrines. All amazing.


  4. Oh, wow! The entrance alone is already impressive. Beautiful details of the architectural designs and colors of the temple. A place to truly meditate and appreciate one’s blessings. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Have a blessed week!


    1. I am sure all Temples need to have certain things in them. The one you took pictures of (stunning!) appears to be more established. The one in South Africa is relatively new.


    1. Thank you Darlene. The visit to this Temple was as wonderful an experience as my visit to the one in Vancouver. What I took away from these visits was bot tranquillity and beauty.


  5. Very impressive. I heard about the Temple because a friend of mine is a Buddist and he told us about the Temple(he was a teacher at the school where I was last in 2009)


      1. I know where it is, just didn’t have a chance to go there because my memories of Witbank and specially Secunda are very bad- that’s why I never really wanted to go there.


    1. You will love it Janaline. We spent so much time there admiring it and soaking in the serenity of the place. They also have a tearoom there where we ate some vegetarian noodles and dumplings.


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