Indonesia's tallest pagoda opens in Tanjungpinang

ANTARA News, 8 July 2023

Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (Indonesia) -- The tallest pagoda in Indonesia, the Sata-Sahasra Buddha Pagoda, which is located in Tanjungpinang City, Riau Islands Province, was inaugurated on Saturday by an official from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

"We really appreciate it. After around seven years, finally, this beautiful and magnificent pagoda can be realized," the ministry's director general of Buddhist community guidance, Supriyadi, who inaugurated the pagoda, said here during the inauguration event.

The pagoda, which is located inside the Avalokitesvara Vihara complex, measures 52 meters in length, 32 meters in width, and 46.8 meters in height.

Supriyadi expressed the hope that the pagoda, which stands on an area of more than 10 hectares, will become a center for Buddhists' religious activities and support the building of inter-religious harmony.

The Sata-Sahasra Buddha Pagoda is managed by the Maitri Paramita Foundation.

According to the foundation’s owner, Hengky Suryawan, the construction of the pagoda took seven years: from June 2016 to June 2023.

Built at a cost of around Rp100 billion (around US$6.59 million), the pagoda has nine floors. Its walls are covered with 20,708 ceramic tiles with Buddha statue motifs ordered from China.

He informed that the pagoda set the Indonesian World Record Museum (MURI) record for the tallest pagoda in Indonesia and for the most number of Buddha statue-motif ceramic tiles.

According to him, the Sata-Sahasra Buddha Pagoda can accommodate around two thousand Buddhists during prayer activities.

Local and international tourists can also visit the pagoda. Moreover, the Avalokitesvara Vihara, where the pagoda is located, is already a tourist attraction for the local residents of Bintan Island.

"In the Avalokitesvara Vihara, there is a statue of Guanyin Goddess with a height of 22.8 meters and is titled the highest in Southeast Asia," he said.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of buses bringing tourists could reach up to 8 per day, he added.
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