Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

Posted by: Sunny T in Malacca, Temple, Travel No Comments »

The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is a Taoist temple and meaning of “Temple of Clear Clouds”. The temple is located at No. 25 Jalan Tokong, Malacca Town, Malaysia. It is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia with covering of 4,600 square metres. The temple built in 1645 by Kapitan Lee Wei King with building materials imported from China, Cheng Hoon Teng served as the main place of worship for the local Hoklo (Hokkien) community. The main hall was built by Kapitan Chan Ki Lock in 1704 and was rebuilt in 1801 by Kapitan China Chua Su Cheong, who contributed to the aesthetic and magnificent structural additions of the building.

The temple is dedicated to Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, whose statue is enshrined in the main hall. The side halls are dedicated to Ma Choe Poh, the Queen of Heavan and protector of fishermen and sailors; the red faced Kwan Ti, god of war, patron of literature and upholder of justice; and Sui Tai, the golden faced Goddess of Wealth. In a rear hall, memorial tablets commemorate temple leaders.

The temple, with its curved roof ridge, cut-and-paste chien nien decoration, and gable design, reflects the architectural style of South China, of craftsmen from Fujian and Guangdong. On the walls are the Eighteen Lorhans, now encased behind glass. On the outside of the main hall are columns with gold calligraphy in cao-shu, a grass style script. Within the grounds of the Cheng Hoon Teng are stelae, stone tables commemorating special events. The walls of the temples are all painted with limewash. In the olden days, lime was used instead of cement. Everything was derived from natural sources. The lime comes from the oyster shells and soot from charcoal.

Batu Caves

Posted by: Sunny T in Hill, Historical, Temple, Travel No Comments »

Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old. When the caves were in a pristine state before 1860, several of the 18 cave mouths were used by the indigenous “Besisi people” (also referred to as Orang Asli) as transit shelters when they went out hunting from their jungle hamlets. Batu Caves is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples, located in Gombak district, 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village.

As early as 1860, Chinese settlers began excavating guano for fertilising their vegetable patches. However, they became famous only after the limestone hills were found by American Naturalist, William Hornaday in 1878. Batu Caves is said to have been discovered by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader, in the 1800s. He was inspired by the “vel-shaped” entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Muruga located within the caves.

In 1891, Pillai, who also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Subramania Swamy in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there.

Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site, the largest and best known is the Temple or Cathedral Cave, so named because it houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100 m vaulted ceiling.

Rising almost 100 m above the ground, Batu Caves actually consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a 100 m-high ceiling, and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors have to climb a steep of 272 steps.

Sri Maha Mariamman

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The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is founded by Thambusamy Pillai in 1873 and was initially used as a private shrine by the Pillai family. The Temple was originally sited near the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. It shifted to its present location along Jalan Tun H S Lee (next to Kuala Lumpur Chinatown) in 1885. The family threw open the temple door to the public in the late 1920s and handed the management of the temple over to a board of trustees.

The initial “attap” structure was demolished in 1887 and a brick building was erected in its place after the major fire of Kuala Lumpur . That structure was demolished to make way for the current temple buildings which were completed in 1968. The impressive gateway to the Temple (gopuram) was completed in 1972. This new Temple was consecrated in 1973.

The Temple opens daily from 6.00AM to 9.00PM. Visitors are reminded to remove their footwear before entering the Temple.

Kuan Ti Temple

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Kuan Ti Temple located on Jalan Tun H. S. Lee nearby China Town. This temple also known as Guan Ti or Kwong Siew Temple and is a Taoist temple dedicated to a Chinese deity, Kuan Ti, the God of War & Literature. Two stone lions guard the temple at the entrance and in the main lobby, statues of the God of Examinations & Fate and the God of the Elderly greet visitors to its main prayer hall, where the statue of Kuan Ti proudly takes it place at the central altar.

This temple is built in 1888 by the Selangor & Federal Territory Kwong Siew Association. Visitors may find it interesting to know that the temple houses an antique – a ‘guan dao’. This long knife has been brought here from China more than 100 years ago. Legend has it that such a weapon was the favourite of Kuan Ti.

From 1898 to 1902, it also helped to settle disputes that were lodged with the association by fellow villagers as well as those from other municipalities. According to records, a total of 486 cases of dispute were mediated within this period, many of which were settled to the satisfaction of all parties. It is therefore not surprising that the temple is dedicated to the God of Righteousness.

This building construction work from 1897 and was completed in 1906. Chan See Shu Yuen is the one of the oldest surviving Buddhist temples in Malaysia. The old temple located at southern end of Jalan Petaling (China Town). The building richest examples of Shek Wan. Shek Wan is a pottery style of roof and exterior wall decoration originally from southern of China. It has a beautiful open courtyards and pavilions.

There are many documents tell of the hardship that went into construction the building. All the building materials and craftsman were brought from China. Visitor can see there are extensive, elaborate and decorative cravings. The temple colourful of Chinese architecture on display is a delight to see.

Si Ya Temple

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Si Ya Temple was first built by Kapitan Yap Ah Loy in the 1864 and it is the oldest Taoist temple in Kuala Lumpur. The temple located in the Chinatown area (14A Lebuh Pudu) closed Central Market. Si Ya Temple is the local version of Sin Sze Si Ya Temple. Its uniques structure of the traditional Chinese architecture were based on Feng Shui principles.

The temple is dedicated patron deities of Sin Sze Ya and Si Sze Ya. Sin Sze Si Ya Temple is one of the 13 temples in Peninsular Malaysia that are dedicated to Xian Shi Ye. A memorial plaque in the honor of the pioneers Chan Sow Lin, Yap Ah Shak, Yap Ah Loy and Yap Kwan Seng is also places at the entrance. The deities has guided Kapitan Yap Ah Loy to defeat the enemies and defend Kuala Lumpur during the civil war in 1870 to 1873. The temple also witnessed the birth and growth of our great city Kuala Lumpur.

The temple was the Chinese religious and community center of Kuala Lumpur. Also, the place where leadership of the Chinese community held meetings and made important decision about the administration of Kuala Lumpur. The temple is famous for its charity work and done through a trust. Since 1907, the temple has been donated two thirds its income every year to charity for educational and medical purposes.

Thean Hou Temple

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Thean Hou Temple is one the largest Chinese temple in South-East Asia located on top of Robson Heights facing Jalan Syed Putra (formerly Lornie Raod), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This temple built on land of 1.67 acres with 4 storeys and was start construction from 1981 to 1987. The officially opening held on September 1989 by Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai (former Housing and Local Government Minister). The cost for overall construction is RM7 million. The property is managed by Selangor & Federal Territory Hainan Association and built by Hainanese community living in Kuala Lumpur.

This syncretism temple with elements of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism is affectedly grand structure and successfully combining modern architectural techniques and authentic traditional designs. It features impressive pillars, spectacular roofs, ornate carvings and intricate embellishments that made it a popular tourist destination.

In sides the temple, there offers fortune telling and marriage registration services. The marriage registration service attracted up to 5,000 couples each year especially during the auspicious eighth lunar month. There are Chinese medicinal herbs garden and a wishing well (tortoise pond) in the temple grounds.

The main door and also the main entrance

The main door and also the main entrance

Red lanterns hang under the roof

Red lanterns hang under the roof