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The Development and Transformation of Nirvana Singapore

One would often associate Nirvana Singapore with one of the largest privatised columbaria in Singapore. However, it is much more than that. With 13 columbaria in Malaysia, 1 in Jakarta, 1 in Bangkok, and the Singapore columbarium, Nirvana Asia group is the biggest conglomerate for columbarium services and funeral services in Southeast Asia.

Since the group established its first columbarium in Selangor in 1990, it has been expanding.

In 2009, Nirvana group also opened its Singapore columbarium to serve our fellow Singaporeans.

One key reason why people chose Nirvana as their most preferred columbarium is its dedication and commitment to marrying traditional customs and culture with modern conducive facilities to suit today’s ever-changing consumer landscape.
In this article, we will explore the development and transformation of Nirvana Singapore and why it is the most preferred columbarium choice.

Everything starts with a good location.

When it comes to finding a final resting place for a loved one, the Feng Shui of the location is essential. Good Feng Shui location can ensure good fortune and benefits for the deceased’s family. The Nirvana Singapore group management has put much effort and dedication into finding the best possible Feng Shui location for its columbarium.

Nirvana Singapore is built with quality interior space and modern facilities
Nirvana Singapore is built with quality interior space and modern facilities

Interior and Modern Facilities

Nirvana Singapore columbarium is best known for its quality interior space and modern facilities. A fully air-conditioned columbarium complex like Nirvana helps make the visiting experience a pleasant and comfortable one.
One of its highlights is the visitor resting lounge, the Ju Xian Dian. Its dome-shaped glass ceiling provides natural light ambience. Moreover, its bamboo décor, Buddha statues, and quality furniture provide a comfortable atmosphere for visitors.
Nirvana Singapore also has a Ji-Ling hall (祭灵厅)where newly departed loved ones are placed to receive blessings from its priests’ daily prayers. It is essential for Buddhist and Taoist believers because the daily prayers will ensure a safe passage for the dearly departed from death to the 49th day. On the 49th day, the prayer ceremony known as Departure Ceremony ( 升天仪式) will be held at the Grand Hall, which has majestic statues of Amitabha Buddha, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, and Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva.
Other amenities include the Memorial Suite, the Praying Hall, and the in-house cafeteria. All of these, therefore, make the entire customer experience unforgettable and heartwarming.

Environment and Landscape

Nirvana Singapore columbarium also sits on a serene natural land in Old Chu Kang Road. Additionally, its surrounding garden and water landscape inject a sense of peace and tranquility into the environment.

Therefore, these features make the columbarium an ideal place for ancestors’ worshippers and family members to visit their beloved departed.

Nirvana Singapore sits on a serene natural land in Old Chu Kang Road
Nirvana Singapore sits on a serene natural land in Old Chu Kang Road

Customer Experience

The icing to the cake (the entire customer experience) is definitely its exemplary customer service. At the columbarium, staff will always stand by to provide top-notch service to visitors. If there is any feedback or enquiries, the team will try to understand them and provide the necessary assistance individually.
A look into the online reviews has clearly shown the good feedback Nirvana Singapore columbarium has received over the years based on its customer service.

In-House Funeral Parlours (Upcoming Facility)

In order to provide convenience and added service to its customers of funeral services, Nirvana Singapore columbarium will have its new funeral parlours on Level 3 and Level 4 of Block B. Construction is due to be completed soon next year (2023).

The funeral parlour rental will also be included (free of charge) in its funeral package.

In this way, bereaved family members, as well as friends and relatives or the dearly departed, can pay their respects and give a solemn send-off to the departed in a comfortable environment.

Furthermore, its new parlour will also have the required amenities needed for any type of funeral (Buddhist, Taoist, Christian, Catholic, Free Thinker). Thus, making the funeral arrangements and process smooth and easy.

As the rental of a parlour is already in the funeral services package, it adds quality to
the customer experience without additional cost. Therefore, it will make people feel comfortable and peaceful, especially during such times of grief.
Individuals can also consider purchasing Nirvana Singapore’s pre-plan funeral services package to lock the price at the current price instead of the future price.

99-years Leasehold

In 2016, Nirvana Singapore also successfully appealed to the government to extend its lease from 30 to 99 years. From the original 2029 to 2098! This good news means that the customers of Nirvana Singapore need not worry about the costs and inconvenience of relocating their ancestors’ urns to other places.
This benefit also gives Nirvana Singapore an edge over several private columbariums facing lease expiring issues.

The Largest Integrated Bereavement Care Provider in Asia

Nirvana Singapore also provides high-quality funeral services. It has also gained recognition for its bereavement care services. In 2012 at Asian Funeral Exhibition (AFE), Nirvana won the ‘Outstanding Brand of Asian Funeral Service Industry,’ ‘Outstanding Award for Multi-Asian Expansion,’ and in 2018, the ‘Largest Bereavement Company in Singapore’ by Singapore Books of Records.
Buying pre-plan funeral service packages from companies with healthy financial strength and industry reputation is essential. As a credible funeral services company with robust financial backing, customers can feel at ease.

It is vital to do that because companies with poor financial backing may have a higher risk of closing down if sales revenues are not good. That means it is riskier to buy a pre-planned funeral service package from less credible service providers.
As a one-stop bereavement care provider, Nirvana Singapore provides both funeral services and quality columbarium services for customers. Bereaved family members can feel at ease by leaving the funeral and final resting place arrangements for their dearly departed with Nirvana Singapore.

New Nirvana Singapore after all the construction in Phase 1&2
New Nirvana Singapore after all the construction in Phase 1&2

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

In terms of new developments, the Nirvana Singapore columbarium complex will be built spectacularly and completed in two phases. Let’s look into the details.

ARCHITECTURE

The first phase comprises Building B and the original buildings A and C on both sides. The Prajna wisdom concept of Vajra Sutra is used in the design of building B.

White grille donned the main building’s facade. Therefore, it creates a noble, elegant, and majestic new architectural experience.

During the day, the Buddha statues appear slowly, presenting a sacred atmosphere. The Buddha ‘lighting’ will appear at night, making the atmosphere extraordinary. Thus, creating harmony between Man and Nature.

There are also huge flying clouds and thousands of mountains in the outdoor facade, especially its unprecedented vast modern landscape painting.

The architecture and landscape design have a far-reaching artistic conception that ensures blessings on dearly departed’s descendants, thereby striving to create a magnificent courtyard garden of Life.

Next, we will introduce each level of the building.

New Block B of Nirvana Singapore is extended to 9 floors
New Block B of Nirvana Singapore is extended to 9 floors

The first, third, fourth, and ninth floors are public spaces, namely Bliss Hall 极乐金殿, Crane Hall 仙鹤堂, Phoenix Hall 凤凰堂, and Meditation Hall 蝉修大厅.

These public spaces are used to house large-scale ceremonies, funerals, meditation, and chanting events.

The remaining five levels are the niche hall (cabinets) levels, namely, Youshui (幽水 Water 2F/2AF), Yazhu (雅竹Bamboo 2B F), Xia Guang (霞光Sunset Hue 5F), Lingshan (灵山Mountain 6F), and Jinyun (金银Golden Sea of Clouds 7-8F)

The design theme of niche hall levels integrated natural views and the environment, namely the mountain valleys, the flowing waters, the bamboo forest, the peaceful sunset, and the sea of clouds.

Everything is so natural. Everything is changing just as it should be and never ceases changing.

Bliss Hall is mainly used to hold large-scale religious activities organised by our believers
Bliss Hall is mainly used to hold large-scale religious activities organised by our believers

PUBLIC AREAS

LEVEL 1

Li Bai 李白, China’s great poet, once said,

“Good will lead to the good next life, which is called Bliss.”

That is how the 1st level got its name – the Bliss Hall. It is mainly used to hold large-scale religious activities organised by our believers.

In the main hall are three Bodhisattvas of the Sukhavati (the Western Paradise). They are Amitabha, Avalokitesvara, and Vajrapani, who are in charge of the Sukhavati. Behind them is the background of the sutra.

On the two sides are the walls of various Buddhas and the crystal bead curtain, re-creating the grandeur of the golden temple. The arc-shaped ceiling is accompanied by the rounded mosaic floor, indicating that heaven and earth are one.

A virtual fairyland of Sukhavati is created by LED technologies to make the main hall look more magnificent and grand. During a sermon ceremony, the indoor lighting is just proper, with chants echoing and music playing, giving the entire atmosphere a peaceful Zen ambience. All the light coming from heaven is converged on the crystal lotus lamp to interpret the rebirth.

Next are the third and fourth levels that elevators can reach on both sides. The public area is designed as a ceremonial hall with a shared resting lounge.

At the back of Level 3 are five farewell rooms of different styles. On the fourth level, there is one large farewell hall and four smaller ones for other uses.

LEVEL 3

The third level, the Crane Hall, represents a sense of openness by employing Chinese landscape elements. The hall’s roof is inspired by the quill of a crane, which means flying to the land of the immortals. The crane is regarded as a symbol of longevity.

The three-dimensional white cloud ceiling is reflected on the carpet, depicting months and days passed by like the changes in the stars and skies. On the wall, images of flying cranes are also projected.

With the soothing background music, it feels like walking into a wonderland. It has a hidden metaphor that means the deceased fly back to the West on the crane’s back. It is a way people mourn over their beloved ones.

On the same level is the Jade Hall, its design theme based on the moon.

Another great poet Su Shi said in one of his works:

“The moon naturally changes its form (full, crescent), just like meetings and departures among people.”

The moon hung high, and the different moon phases projected on the walls to create a feeling that time flies. The ground and both sides of the space are painted grey blue to depict the reflection of the moonlight and how people missed their beloved departed.

Next to the Jade Hall is the Penglai Hall.

As the old saying goes: “where there is no mundane fame and desires, there is the fairyland of Penglai.”

The rhythm of Life is integrated into this space. Both sides’ elements come from the eave silhouette of a traditional Chinese house.

The warm wood grating background created by cove lights depicts the enlightened path to Penglai.

Funeral parlour at Level 4 of Nirvana Singapore
Funeral parlour at Level 4 of Nirvana Singapore

LEVEL 4

Level four houses the Phoenix Hall – the design is like a phoenix rising from the ashes. In Chinese folklore, the phoenix is the messenger of happiness.

From the ceiling hangs the phoenix crystal chandelier, which cast a Holographic projection to form hundreds of birds worshiping an image of “a phoenix.”

With the concept of limited Life and a newborn in samsara, this image highlights the beautiful Life in this world that ends with well wishes and hopes for the following Life.

Next on the same level is Lotus Hall.

“When will there be ten of billions of lotuses in the world, with each lotus presenting a Buddha to free all living beings from sufferings.”

Named the Lotus Hall, the space featured a lotus chandelier echoed by crystal lotus lamps. The walls are decorated with budding, life-like flowering lotus designs.

The entire space indicates that though the deceased are born in this mundane world, they are so pure that they will be allowed to the Sukhavati.

Next to the Lotus Hall is the Fairy Mountains Hall.

The name of this hall comes from an ancient poem that said:

“Known will the hills be if fairies dwell, whether the hills are high or low.”

It depicts an old temple standing majestically among the mountains—the intertwined white wall and greyish brick backdrop outline the rusticness of the ancient walls. Bamboo ceiling interiors, elegant walls, and hemp ropes create an image of the rolling hills. Hence, a simple quintessence is hidden within this beautiful realm.

LEVEL 9

Level 9 is the Meditation Hall. The indoor space is divided into a meditation hall and a restaurant. There is an independent corridor connecting the kitchen and public restrooms separately. There is a terrace outside and an infinity landscape pool for viewing.

Manjushrk, Shakyamuni, and Samantabhadra are seated in the centre of the meditation hall. These three Bodhisattvas are the protectors of the human world. Behind them are the intertwined stone and wood panels that depict shadow and light.

The skylight on the top allows plenty of sunshine into the hall interior, shining on the Bodhisattvas statues. Meditators can sit under the tree and watch the universe through the skylight.

The square-sloping roof depicted practitioners from all directions. It also means thousands and millions of households, the popularity of Buddhism, and harmony among family members. The design of thousands of Bodhisattvas on both sides means hopes and wishes. These create a multifunctional hall for chanting, worshipping, sermons, and ritual performances.

The hands of the Bodhisattvas in the restaurant are the visual centre of attraction, with sunlight shining through the glass ceilings.

On both sides are the walls of Bodhisattvas and modeling screen. The wood fragrance in the hall is calm and relaxing. Thus, creating a tranquil ambience from the busy city life, where people can enjoy their meals during meditation practice. At the same time, in case of a large-scale meditation event, the staff can pull the rail-mounted modeling screens apart to merge the space with the Meditation Hall.

The outdoor terrace allows people to interact, relax and enjoy the beautiful views. The staff can fully open the revolving door for air circulation if the Meditation Hall is crowded.

Niche Halls (Ancestors Worshipping Levels) at Nirvana Singapore
Niche Halls (Ancestors Worshipping Levels) at Nirvana Singapore

Niche Halls (Ancestors Worshipping Levels)

Next, we’ll introduce Levels 2, 2A, and Level 5. Nirvana Singapore will open up the other levels, such as Levels 2B, 6, 7, and 8th, later in the future. Please stay tuned.

LEVEL 2 / 2A

These levels feature water, which is one of the five elements.

An atmosphere of water and waves is created by the effect of light and shadow on the top and bottom of the space. The theme is echoed by the raindrop-shaped crystal lamp hanging from the ceiling centre, as if it is raining.

Images of mountains and waterfalls are projected on the walls. The white rotating high ladder surrounds the central pillar. The entire space is dark grey and pure white, which helps to create a sense of tranquility.

LEVEL 2B

The layout of Level 2B is inspired by the Manji, meaning happiness and longevity. The design of the niche halls is based on bamboo and extended in Manji’s shape. The entire design means great fortune that will benefit future generations.
Bamboo stands for elegance and refreshing moments.

LEVEL 5

The fifth level features the flowing rats streaking the sky with a deep red hue. The central part of this floor is the themed design space.

It is divided by the central cross pillar into four main niche halls containing 32 individual niche halls.

The entire space is like an image of the grand rising sun. The glowing rays cover the whole earth. The Mahavairocana Tantra engraved on the ceiling symbolises the sutra shining over the planet. The light of Mahavairocana never fades away and is more powerful than the sun. It reflects the lovely vision of the sunset rays.

On the same level is the Incense-themed niche hall.

This space focuses on the concept of “incense.” The walkway is arc-shaped and decorated with metallic mosaic tiles. The layered flames represent the transmission of sparks.

Instead of the traditional arrangements, the niches are stacked, with each layer stacked inward. Thereby, producing a strong visual impact and sense of solemnity.

The incense-shaped design indicates that generations will inherit the blessings of their ancestors.

LEVEL 6

The theme of the sixth floor is mountains. Its layout mimics the mountains and hills with birds flying among them.

Like the saying, “From the side, a whole range; from the end, a single peak; Far, near, high, low, no two parts are alike.”

The design of this space creates a sense of distance and majesty, like mountains on the far horizon. The memorial for and wishes to the deceased are all included in this design.

LEVELS 7 AND 8

The seventh and eighth floors symbolise that Buddhism has reached every corner of the world. It is depicted by the Golden Sea of Clouds.

The layout design reflects the gathering of lucky clouds and good fortune. The big and small floating clouds mean that the deceased is already heading toward the path of immortality.

The ambience created by the LED technology depicts ocean broadness, the mysterious fog in golden colours, and the gentle water. In Chinese royalty, the cloud is a symbol of good fortune. Which also means the blessings from the Buddha.

Choosing a Niche Hall Level

The niche halls from different levels of the columbarium represent water, bamboo, sunset (hue), mountain, and clouds.

“Confucian analects” mentioned, “As some people love mountains while others enjoy the water.”

The niche halls represent different styles of final resting places for the dearly departed. Bereaved family members can therefore select the niche halls for the deceased’s preferences. Whichever choice is made, it will ensure family prosperity and countless protections for future generations.

In summary, Nirvana Singapore has developed and significantly transformed over the years. And it will continue to improve and advance to ensure that all its customers are well taken care of.

About Nirvana Singapore

Since 2009, Nirvana Singapore has evolved into the largest privatised columbarium in Singapore and the largest bereavement care provider in Asia. Learn more about Nirvana Singapore today.