Established in 1912, Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery is the oldest Buddhist monastery in Singapore. The monastery includes the Hall of Celestial Kings (Tian Wang Dian) and Mahavira Hall (Da Xiong Bao Dian), both of which are gazetted as National Monuments for their historical and architectural value.
The origin of Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery can be traced to Hokkien merchant and community leader Low Kim Pong's meeting with 12 Buddhist monks and nuns in 1898. Low invited the Buddhists to stay in Singapore to spread the Buddhist faith. Low subsequently provided 50 acres of land for a monastery, and the Chinese community from other parts of Singapore also began raising funds for the monastery's construction.
Completed in the early 1900s, Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery ("Twin Grove of the Lotus Mountain" in Mandarin) adopted architectural styles of Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou in the Fujian province of China and these architectures reflect the diverse roots of the immigrant Chinese in Singapore.
The monastery was modelled after the fifth-century Yi Shan Xi Chan Monastery in Fuzhou. The bell and drum towers are possibly the only ones of their kind that still exist in Singapore, and enshrine the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva and Guan Gong respectively. For their historical and architectural value, the Halls of Celestial Kings and Mahavira Hall were gazetted as a National Monument in 1980. Today, Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery stands as Singapore’s oldest Buddhist monastery.