Haw Par Villa Park

The Forgotten Haw Par Villa. The park, originally called “Tiger Balm Gardens”, was built in 1937 as a venue for teaching traditional Chinese values. This park used to be popular in the past. However, due to poor visitor arrival and discouraged from high admission ticket forced the park to be open for free instead. Till now, not many visitors visit this park nowadays and I find it the place a bit rundown. What interest me is actually the statues and giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese folklore and legends. Believe it or not, often people regard this park as the place for paranormal sighting.

Getting there is easy with the recent opening of Haw Par Villa station (Circle line). Open daily from 9am to 7pm. Free Admission.

Warning!: Contain disturbing images. Viewer discretion is advised.

Animal theme. Reminds me of Madagascar movie.

Majestic entrance of Haw Par Villa

Weirdest Park in Singapore

10 courts of hell. Buddhists believe that reincarnation is a form of reward a retribution on their journey to Nirvana. The Ten Courts of Hell are purgatory where a person is sent to be punished for the sins and misdeeds of their past life. A sinner must go through all Ten Courts and in the tenth, final judgment will determine his form of reincarnation. In the past, there used to be a boat ride to view the courts but it had been reclaimed and rebuild as a cave instead.

The Ten Courts of Hell are a labyrinth of infernal dungeons, each presided over by a judge who is known as the ‘President’ and a Registrar of Life and Death. The Presidents are recognized by their long black beards and square flat hats from which hang strings of beads. Registrars record the details of the punishment and hold a brush and set of documents.

The sinner will go through nine courts before judgment is finally reached. In each of the nine courts, he is punished for the particular sin that he has committed.

Evil doers – the ones we have really come to see – are sent to repent before the Mirror of Retribution (where all their past sins are revealed to them) and then taken to a court of hell for punishment. The sinner is sent to ‘hell’ where he will be tormented by demonic-looking ‘Yama attendants’ for the misdeeds he has committed in his past life.

The legend of the Ten Courts of Hell tells of the punishment that await sinners after their death but before reincarnation is determined. Here are some of the punishment that sinner go through which depends on their wrong doing.

Punishment for:(Top Right) Lack of filial piety; grounded by large stone. (Top Left) Robbery, rape, murder; head and arm chop off. (Bottom Left) Driving someone to their death, rapist; thrown into wok of boiling oil. (Bottom Right) Harming others to benefit oneself; body dismembered.

Beg for forgiveness

Garden

Lotus Pond

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9 Thoughts

  1. Oh yeah, Singapore — the cleanest country probably. Who wouldn’t want to set foot in it. Seems like this park has so much interesting history in it. By the way, I heard about this place called Sentosa in Singapore, I hope to see it featured here.

  2. Interesting…I’ve always wondered about Haw Par Villa Park since I moved to Singapore. Your photos and narrative have convinced me I must see!

  3. Nice photos! Yeah, it looks weird and scary enough for people to think twice before bringing their children there. But I will go here for sure as this is off the beaten path where almost no traveller ever mentioned about this place. And this is unique! Uniquely Singapore. ;) Can’t wait to go to Singapore this weekend!

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