Thursday, May 08, 2008

Chinese Temples

Sze Ya Buddhist Temple
Located at 14A Lebuh Pudu, the Sze Ya Temple (or Sin Sze Si Ya Temple) is one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist temples in Malaysia. The original temple was fashioned out of a timber hut. It was rebuilt in 1882 in brick and tiles, and has a main hall and two side halls.

According to history, the first Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur Yap Ah Loy built the temple in memory of Kong Seng, a tin mine tycoon who was murdered in one of the many gangfights between business rivals from Kuala Lumpur and Seremban.

Kwong Siew Temple
Built in 1886, this is a Taoist temple dedicated to the deity Kuan Yu (also known as Kuan Kung), Patron of Literature and God of War. At the entrance are two stone lions. There are several dieties at the altar and if you like to have your fortune told, you may seek "divine" help by shaking the divining sticks. Just ask the temple assistants how to go about it.The temple is located behind Hotel Malaya!

Thean Hou Temple
The Thean Hou Temple is a six-tiered Chinese temple sited on a 1.7 acre hillock near Robson heights overlooking the Federal Highway. Completed in 1987 and officially opened two years later, the temple is owned by the Hainanese Association of Selangor and Federal Territory and is dedicated to the Goddess Tian Hou or The Heavenly Mother, worshipped by seafarers.

This temple which has elements of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism is an imposing structure which has become a popular tourist destination - both among locals and foreigners. On auspicious days, it is also a favourite site for photo shoots by newly-weds. The temple also has a marriage registration office for those who want to get married there.

Chan See Shu Yuen Association
The building, constructed in 1906, looks deceptively like a Chinese temple but is in actual fact a clan house. It has a beautiful open courtyards, pavilions and the Shek Wan style roofing and exterior wall decor originating from southern China. You can see various terracotta figurines fashioned from figures in Chinese history and myths.

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