The Kek Lok Si Temple (Penang Hokkien for “Temple of Supreme Bliss”; Simplified Chinese: 极乐寺; Traditional Chinese: 極樂寺) is a Buddhist temple situated in Air Itam in Penang and is one of the best known temples on the island.
The construction of the temple begun in 1893 and was inspired by the chief monk of the Goddess of Mercy Temple at Pitt Street. With the support of the consular representative of China in Penang, the project received the sanction of the Manchu Emperor Guangxu, who bestowed a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras.
In 1930, the seven storey main pagoda of the temple or the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, was completed. This pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, and a Burmese crown; reflecting the temple’s embrace of both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.
In 2002, a 30.2m bronze statue of the Kuan Yin was completed and opened to public. The statue is located on the hillside above the pagoda.