Kek Lok Si Temple is located at the foot of the Air Itam mountain in George Town on Penang Island.
It is built over a plot of an area of 12.1 hectares that was donated by Yeoh Siew Beow. It is about 3 kilometres walk from the Penang Hill Station. Mahayana Buddhism, Theravanda Buddhism and traditional Chinese rituals blend into a harmonious whole, both in the temple architecture and artwork as well as in the daily activities of worshippers.
The Kek Lok So Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, and also an important pilgrimage centre for Buddhists from Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia. The entire complex of temples was built over a period from 1890 – 1930, an inspirational initiative of Beow Lean, the Abbot. The main draw in the complex is the striking seven-storey Pagoda of Rama VI with 10,000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha, and the 36.57 metres tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.
The temple itself consists of several large prayer halls and pavilions for assembly and prayer, statues of Buddha; various Bodhisattvas as well as Chinese gods are being venerated. The architectural features include carved pillars, fine woodwork, mostly painted in bright colours, and a plethora of lanterns add to the visual impression. Fish ponds and flower gardens are also part of the temple complex. There are two tiers of double-lane inclined elevators to carry pilgrims and visitors further uphill. An electric buggy service links the different tiers of elevators as their middle levels are some distance apart. On the elevated platform, there is a fish pond, and the towering statue of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy which is worshipped by women to beget children.