Wonder over Buddha visage near M'sian temple

Ivan Loh in Ipoh/The Star
Asia News Network

Ipoh (The Star/ANN) - A face, said to resemble that of Lord Buddha, has appeared on a limestone hill overlooking the Nam Thean Tong Temple in Ipoh, capital city of Malaysian state of Perak, rousing great interest among tourists and locals.

Jade seller Chan Yew Ming, who runs a shop at the temple, said the face was first spotted by tourists recently.

"I saw them pointing at the limestone hill above my shop and snapping photographs. I was curious and was surprised to see what looked like Buddha's face there," the 53-year-old woman said.

According to Chan, none of the temple workers or committee members had noticed the "face" previously because of the trees and plants surrounding it.

She claimed that people had also seen other "manifestations" on the hill, such as that of Buddha's palm and the face of Hindu deity Ganesha.

"Just above Buddha's face, there is an elephant-like face, which many people believe is Ganesha while several dark spots on the rocky surface of the hill resemble Buddha's palm.

Chan added that news of the manifestations had reached as far as Thailand and Singapore with many visitors from the countries coming in droves to see the amazing sights.

Temple committee chairman Chan Kwai Hoong said heavy rainfall and strong winds in recent times had caused tree branches to break, exposing the face.

"We were surprised by it when tourists pointed it out to us," he said.

Kwai Hoong, who has been with the committee for about 20 years, stressed that it was impossible for people to climb up the hill to sculpt the face. "The surface is too steep and nobody can climb up there," he said.

Nam Thean Tong, situated between the Ling Sen Tong and Sam Poh Tong temples, is believed to be one of the oldest temples here, dating back to 1867 when it was first discovered by a Chinese priest.