One of the interesting landmarks and religious architecture found in the Kedah state capital of Alor Setar is Wat Nikrodharam, a Siamese temple.
Built in 1968, it’s an imposing edifice within a complex with the main temple at the center and located between Jalan Telok Wanjah and Jalan Stadium. What is striking is its architecture that has Thai elements infused with some Chinese motifs, an influence borne by a minority of Chinese Buddhist and Thais (Indians also form the minority) living in the state.
As can be expected in a wat, there are plenty of stunning details and colours. From nagas to the garuda, icons of Thai Buddhism, from multitiered roofing to serpentine roof finials called lamyong. What’s more interesting, it has a Buddha figure that has three faces and four pairs of arms, which recall Hindu iconography.
This majestic temple is revered as being the primary Buddhist house of worship in Kedah’s state capital, hosting the city’s most auspicious day on Wesak celebration.
Once every year on Wesak Day, which falls on a full-moon day in the month of May, the temple is packed with stream of devotees making their annual pilgrimage to pray and wish for good tidings, and give thanks and offerings to the gods. There are also temporary food stalls set up within the temple compound in the midst of the festive celebration.