Coming from a state like Kelantan where Thai temples are aplenty ( some of you may gasped / may not know, there are a lot of Thai/Buddhist temples ( some of them gigantic) in Kelantan and it’s a normal sight so see the colourful temples along the road , pretty much a part of the scene regardless of ones religious believes), it evoked some kind of homesickness when I visited Wat Chetewan, resplendent and glorious in Petaling Jaya ( Jalan Pantai to be exact).
Our first stop was a pagoda housing Kuan Yin ( which I guess is more the Chinese community influence / attraction ). We lit some incense and tried hard to remain solemn while short of seeming to jump about , trying to minimize the contact of our bare feet with the mosaic flooring which was really really burning hot. Check out the photo below—take note of the safe / donation box at the bottom left, you will see safe/ donation boxes like these in strategic locations at the temple.
Futher down, you will come to the Office building – where you can do some donations or have your enquiries answered. Beside the office, you will see buckets of chrysentemum for offerings , in various sizes and colours . The prices are indicated clearly on the pails : RM1, RM2 etc per stalk.
We place our offerings at the Buddha statue located at the open hall next to the office.
And this is probably my favourite view of Wat Chetawan – the stairs, adorned by two menacing looking Nagas ( in punk-ish hairstyle) the ‘bell tower’ , ( belfry) and a glimpse of the main shrine hall, so Thailand-ish
From another angle
The 4 faced Buddha ( which I probably incorrectly named, as this is not really the Buddha)
Pure and fragrant jasmine placed as offerings
The main shrine hall building, nice hor ?
I was attracted by the expression of the 2 guardians
Tranquility – that was how I felt –- stepping into the hall
The main altar
This is the other building , opposite the main shrine hall building.
The building housed more statues of the Buddha and a couple of statues of the famous monks – with some of their faces pasted with gold leaves. ( is this the souce of idea for having gold powder incorporated in some cosmetics ?) If you looked closely at the picture below, apart from the flowers ( and daun sireh) you could make out the familiar shape of a packet of nasi lemak. And interestingly, on the shelves, apart from housing Buddhist books / leaflets , you could find what appears to be Thai glossy gossips/ entertainment magazines.
One other interesting features of Wat Chetawan is a sauna treatment centre. Please note that this is a chargeable service ( I forgot what the prices were, sorry – if you are interested, please call the number as stated on the signboard )
Every year in December ( please check the exact date with the Office) , the Loy Kratong festival is celebrated grandly at Wat Chetawan, I have been there 2 years ago, it was a very interesting occasion, you buy / make your own flower thingy on a Styrofoam board, and there is a possession from the temple to the Taman Tasik Jaya ( Opposite Amcorp Mall) to ‘float’ the flowers, it was a pretty sight. And you get a chance to mingle with rather large the Malaysian-Thai community that turns up in full force to celebrate this festival.
Click here to read an article in NST about Wat Chetawan-
Wat Chetawan Temple
No 24, Jalan Pantai, 46000 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor. Tel: 03-7957-2255.