Wat Peyaram in Tangkak, Johor is another temple associated with Wat Uttamaram apart from Wat Uttayamuni in Singapore. This Buddhist temple was established around 1964 by Reverend Sri Wan (Mei Chi) whom donated the piece of land for temple building construction. Apart from that Reverend Sri Wan also dedicated himself to teaching Buddhism to both monks and lay people following Tok Raja's heritage.
Visitors will be greeted by Kuan Yin 'Avalokitesvara' near the temple entrance and the quiet lush surrounding without the hustle and bustle of city life is great for relaxation. Visitors can venerate Kuan Yin and Phra Phrom inside the temple compound.
Today Wat Peyaram is a very beautiful Buddhist temple with its Siamese architecture majistically hidden in the lush forest just at the fringe of this small Tangkak town.
Phor Than Mit the 3rd Chief Abbot of Wat Uttamaram used to visit the temple frequently to give assistance in building development and religious ceremonies. For the past 40 over years since 1964, this temple had stood its ground and became one of the established Thai Theravadian Buddhist temple in Malaysia.
Wat Peyaram is not very well known to many people probably due to the lack of information and travel direction to this temple. The most one may heard is that there's a Tok Raja temple somewhere in Johor. This is where we will expose the natural beauty of this charming temple with lineage connection to Tok Raja.
You will also notice the gilded statue of Tok Raja and Reverend Sri Wan placed inside the Ubosot. The temple atmosphere feels a bit similar like Wat Uttamaram in Kelantan with the arrangement. The only noticeable difference is the incorporation of marble based Lord Buddha's statue from Burma into the common Thai gold bronze statues.
Burmese Theravadian marble sculpture of beautiful Lord Buddha's statue
Reverend Sri Wan or Mei Chi is also one of Tok's disciple for several years before Tok passed away. As a Buddhist nun following the teachings, Mei Chi did not lose contact with other Tok's disciples particularly Than Mit whom is the nephew of Tok. This evidence was clear with a large gilded statue of Than Mit, Tok Raja and CK Chan placed inside the main Ubosot Hall for devotees to venerate. We are in the view that that Than Mit had contributed a lot in assisting Mei Chi in establishing Wat Perayam and vice versa.
Mei Chi's holy ashes was placed inside the Chedi just outside the Ubosot hall.
After Tok's passing away back in 1962, just two years later (around 1964) his desciple Mei Chi established Wat Peyaram in Tangkak. This is probably due to the many requests from Johor devotees. In the past Tok was often invited to conduct religious duties and travel frequently to Johor and Singapore. It is not surprising this affinity may have resulted in the setting up of Wat Peyaram and Wat Uttayamuni by Tok's dedicated desciples - Than Mit and Mei Chi.
Overall this temple is beautifully decorated wtih Thai ornaments and sculptures besides being well maintained. Gilded statue of Tok Raja and CK Chan bucha is seen on the main altar in close-up view.
The next important place to visit is Mei Chi's parent house which is a colorful wooden house within the temple vicinity. Here visitors will find many photos on the wall that tells the stories and connection with the past.
Pidta Bangsek is the most famous amulet in this region created by Tok Raja well known for its effectiveness in escaping danger from weapons harm, warding off evils, and bringing success to the wearer. Escape unharm is what Tok Raja's Pidta Phakawan is all about.
Wat Peyaram does issue out amazing Phra Pidta Tok Raja's style consecrated by Than Mit and co-chanted by many prominent high-ranking Buddhist monks who are student descendant of Tok Raja lineage e.g. Than Mit, CK Onn, and LP Daeng Wat just to name a few.
Some great Pidtas made during Than Mit's era circa B.E.2540s are still available at the temple and they not very expensive. Eventhough these Pidtas may be considered still new (approx. 10 years old) to some people, nevertheless it is a good collection in the years to come.
The general advice to a new votive tablet collector is to simply acquire with purity of mind to remember Tok Raja and Than Mit. The art of collection is don't simply buy or rent amulets without having some background knowledge. Acquire an affordable amulet that interest you most and according to own's budget. In this way, the heart don't feel painful to part with the sum of money while the intent to make merits is being fulfillied satisfactorily. Free the mind from pain in all circumstances and that's the right way in accordance with Buddhism.
There are plenty of reasonable amulets at Wat Peyaram amulet counter to offer visitors who come with a charity mind and to accumulate merits for either oneself, family members, relatives or friends.
This particular herb mixed B.E. 2543 phim with yant inscriptions is my personal favourite Than Mit's pidta. Upon examining closer it contained mixture of small crystal fragments that sparkles if exposed under good lighting condition. It comes in 2 variation of color (black-grey & red-pink). It is said that the effects of wearing this phim are the same for both variation.
Some of the later batches of Wat Peyaram amulets are chanted in mass ceremonies by Keji monks from all over Kelantan, Narathiwat, Tangkak and Thailand. For example the B.E.2542, B.E.2543, and the very recent B.E. 2553 batch of Tok Raja's Pidta.
For Reader's Information:
Since 2014 Wat Peyaram does not sell anymore amulets over its counter as you've seen from the photographs here. This is a directive from Than Boon (the abbot of Wat Uttamaram).
Most of the time there are no reliable information on how to get to this temple. With good intention we shall reveal the direction for would be first-time visitors and collectors to discover the charm of Wat Peyaram.
Tangkak is a small community town located in Ledang District in Johor. It is near to Melaka border and the main income is plantation. Tangkak is a small township bustling with daily business activities in the daytime and the traffic can be pretty heavy congested as the trunk road linking to Segamat, Labis and plantation settlements have to pass through Tangkak. This town may be bursting with activities but turn very quiet at night as we have experienced.
To go to Wat Peyaram simply follow the direction below.
1. Enter the North-South Highway (PLUS) towards Johor Bahru direction.
2. Exit at Tangkak/Muar/Segamat toll plaza. Distance from Melaka to Tangkak is another 35km.
3. After paying the toll, head straight for the T-junction. Turn Right towards Tangkak direction.
4. Approximately 2km, you will see 2 landmarks; Petronas station and Ophir Hotel.
5. Slow down. Turn into the small narrow road right next to Petronas (see picture)
6. Once you have entered the small narrow road, go straight toward the end to find the Peyaram Buddhist Temple signboard. Follow the arrow sign until you reach the temple (approx. 300 meters away hidden from view inside the thick forest).
It is our greatest hope that with this discovery will bring happiness and joy to readers while maintaining the legacy of the great Buddhist masters from Kelantan that had brought the gift of Pidta to us.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
Namo Bodhisato PunnaSuwanno Pattissimae
(Tok Raja's Katha)