I landed in Auckland, New Zealand late into the night after a 20 hour flight from Dubai via Singapore.
My brother lives in Auckland, and as soon as I got to his bachelor pad I hit the snooze button.
I had a mid-morning flight to catch to our hometown Palmerston North the next morning, and we decided to make use of the earlier half of the day by visiting the Fo Guang Shan Temple.
I have heard of the temple a number of times before, but this was my very first visit.
The Fo Guang Shan Temple was created in late 2007. It took over seven years to build, and the masterful architecture has been inspired by the design aesthetics of the Tang Dynasty.
The Fo Guang Shan Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in New Zealand, and serves as the community hub for the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist movement that promotes ‘Humanistic Buddhism’.
However, the temple is open to both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, and offers a number of community-driven courses including Chinese calligraphy, Chinese language, yoga and martial arts, as well as providing a venue for crime prevention talks and meetings – Wikipedia.
The grounds of the Fo Guang Shan Temple are beautifully exotic, and stepping into the grounds, it is easy to imagine being in the Far East rather than Down Under.
People talk in hushed whispers, and the overall ambiance is one of peace and serenity.
The main center of worship features a large Buddha statue with a two-tonne bell.
Visitors can also make a wish in the wishing well.
The Fo Guang Shan Temple is a beautiful example showcasing the cultural diversity and tolerance in New Zealand, a young country with an immigrant community from all over the world.
Do visit the temple if you happen to be in Auckland. The Fo Guang Shan Temple is located on 16 Stancombe Road, Flat Bush, Manukau, Auckland and is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily.