History Uttamayanmuni Singapore



The temple is of the Thai Theravada Buddhist tradition and closely affiliated with the Kelantanese Thai monastic chapter (khana song rat Kelantan) in Malaysia.

It began with Jao Khun Wijaranyanmuni Cao Khun Khron (Tok Raja, 1876-1962), the late chief abbot of Wat Uttamaram (also known as Wat BangSek) in the village of BangSek, Pasir Mas, Kelantan. He was the former chief monk of Kelantan and the first known monk in Kelantan to have received the monastic title of Cao Khun (although he passed away 15 days before he was to receive the ceremonial fan of office from King Phumiphol).

In 1962 (BE 2505), Cao Khun Khron (Tok Raja) was invited to visit Singapore by his devotees here.  It was on this trip that he informed his followers of his intention to have a piece of land in Singapore to build a temple. Mr Tan Khe Wat, a Singaporean Chinese man was present when the monk spoke of his intent and willingly offered him a piece of land 2.5 ha in size to Cao Khun Khron (Tok Raja).

A short time after having been given the land, Cao Khun Khron passed away.



The land was originally swampy and included a deep pond. Local Chinese villagers used the area to grow grassy vegetables to be used as fodder for pigs, ducks and chickens.

Construction of the temple proper began in 1963 (BE 2506) under the directorship of the late Phra Khru Silakhunaphorn (Than Mitr, 1930-2001) who at the time held the monastic title of Phra Palad.  He had been given full rights to the land by Cao Khun Wijarayanmuni Jantr (1909-1992), Cao Khun Khron’s (Tok Raja) successor and Kelantan’s second Jao Khun.  Jao Khun Jantr instructed Phra Palad Mitr to be the chief abbot (jao awat) of the Singapore temple and to oversee its completion.

The temple was given the name Wat Uttamayanmuni.  This was derived from a combination of Wat Uttamaram and Phra Wijarayanmuni (the monastic name of Kelantan first Jao Khun).

The first building to be constructed in 1963 was a wooden residence for monks (kuti) with a row of room for three monks and three nuns.  There were also 2 lay helpers who lived at the temple.  Chinese and Thai devotees in Singapore assisted the temple in securing the necessary finances so as to reclaim the swamp and low lying pond, converting it into high ground.

Phra Maha Suwansuranat assisted Phra Palad Mitr to obtain plans for the construction of the main shrine hall (ubosot) from the Fine Arts Department in Bangkok.  The actual construction of the ubosot did not begin until a few years later pending approval from the Singapore government.  Once approved, a ceremony of burying foundation stones (phithi wang silaruek) was held.  The guest of honour at the event was Jao Khun Jantr.  The first stones were planted at the auspicious time of 10.30am on Tuesday, September 11, 1973 (BE 2516).  

In January 1980 (BE 2520), Thailand’s then Prime Minister, Thanom Kitikachorn and his family presented a donation of tiles to be used on the roof of the building.

In October of the same year, Mr Phenke Jongsanguan donated the main Buddha image in the ubosot.

 Portrait Of Mr Tan Kay Huat

Mr. Tan Kay Huat was a selfless & generous man. He offered his land to Tok Raja to build Wat Uttamayanmuni in Singapore. Without this man & his magnanimity, the wish of Tok Raja to build a Temple in Singapore would not be fulfilled.


Date of Birth:   28 September, 1973

Ordination:   1996, Kelantan Malaysia

Academy Achievements:

Social Achievements:     
1999 –  First Grade of the Royal Dhamma Examination of Buddhist Department of Religious Affairs, Thailand
2003 – Bachelor of Arts Degree in Buddhist Studies with First Class Honours University of  Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
2005 – Master of Arts Degree in Buddhist Studies with Distinction

        Post Graduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya
Actively involved in various social and religious activities such as Buddhist Conferences, seminars, workshop, etc.
2003 represented Buddhist monks for a Seminar on the Role of Faith Based Organization and Spirituality in Drug Demand Reduction in Bangkok. Thailand                                 
Attended the 20th International Federation of Non-Government Organization Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Attended 5th Global Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention, under sponsorship

2005 represented Kelantan Sangha members to participate in IV Asian Youth Congress in Penang, Malaysia

Due to his active involvement in Drug Abuse Prevention, he was honoured as an International delegate of Drug Watch International (USA). He was previously residing at Wat Phikulthong Vararam Buddhist Temple, Tumpat, Kelantan and in 2006 was assigned by Kelantan Sangha Council to reside at Uttamayanmuni Buddhist Temple, Singapore in order to carry on the Buddhist missionary activities.   As assistant Abbot of UBT, he worked hard on bringing awareness of the Dhamma to the temple’s devotees and initiated several activities along this line.  Through his relentless effort and the help and support of keen Dhamma followers, he gradually led UBT from its neglected existence to the presently active Dhamma environment.  The temple is now frequented by devotees from all walks of life participating in the various dhamma activities.
On 10 November 2007, in recognition of his effort, Phra Phian Saccavaro was officially appointed the Abbot of  Uttamayanmuni Singapore by The Sangha Committee of Singapore.
On 17 December 2008, he became the youngest Phrakru in the Theravada Buddhist Cycle.  Though young, his efforts and capability were undeniable.  This coupled with recommendation by Chao Khun of Wat Ananda (head of The Singapore Theravada Sangha  Community) and testimonials from various authoritative Sangha members, the royal monastic title of Phrakhru was conferred upon him by 9 Somdechs in Bangkok, Thailand, the Highest Sangha Council.  Traditionally, the Royal Monastic title of Phrakhru was awarded to Bhikkhu who has completed at least 10 Phansa, and having served as Abbot for 5 years.  He has only been abbot for just over a year.  His effort and diligence have earned him this title and it was indeed an occasion for rejoice for Uttamayanmuni Buddhist Temple and its devotees.


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