THEAN HOU TEMPEL
photo's Sjoerd Mensink
This is one of the largest Chinese
temples in South-East Asia and is located on top of Robson Hill. This temple
belongs to the Malaysian Chinese community in Malaysia and public donations
made it possible to open the temple. It was completed in 1987 and officially
opened on 3 September 1989. The property belongs to and is run by the Selangor & Federal
Territory Hainan Association.
The temple, built by the Hainanese community living in Kuala Lumpur, is dedicated to Goddess Thean Hou (The Heavenly Mother).
The front entrance of the temple features a multi-arched gateway with red pillars, the colour symbolic of prosperity and good fortune. Souvenir stalls and a canteen are found on the 1st level. The 2nd level houses the multi-purpose hall while offices are located on the 3rd level. The 4th level has 3 tiers and the prayer hall is located here.
Before you enter the temple grounds you have the fountain of Kuan
Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and statues of gods and lions. The main shrine
with Thean Hou Goddess, you find on the third
floor of this four levels temple. Even if this is a place for worship there
are more than 100 cultural activities annually with the Chinese 15v days New
Year celebration, when the temple is decorated with thousands of red
lanterns, as the main event.
The prayer rooms are filled with bright golden statues'.
Thean Hou Temple is a perfect place to just sit down and relax and
watch the majestic Kuala Lumpur skyline behind the spectacular pagoda roofs
of the temple. The temple is very popular among newly married couples to
take their wedding photos. On the second level you can find the marriage
registration office, a service that more than 5000 couples are using
|The temple has elements of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism structures and represents a successful combination of modern architectural techniques and authentic traditional design featuring imposing pillars, spectacular roofs, ornate carvings and intricate embellishments.
Its grand architecture has made it a popular tourist destination.
Below the main prayer rooms are hawker stalls and souvenir stalls while outside there is a Chinese medicinal herbs garden and a tortoise pond.
There are activities such as the grand birthday celebrations for Goddess Thean Hou, Goddess Kuan Yin and the Goddess of the Waterfront are conducted at Thean Hou.
Buddhist activities include Dharma Prayers and Wesak Day celebrations.
Cultural activities include the annual Mooncake Festival during the eighth lunar month and the Chinese New Year celebration.
Traditional Chinese exercise and martial arts activities such as Qigong, t'ai chi and wushu classes are conducted at the Thean Hou temple.
The dragon was the most revered of all animals during ancient times
and is symbolic of life. It is a sign of vigilance, strength and goodness.
Visitors can have their fortune told at the prayer hall. There are 3 'fortune telling' machines. Each machine consists of a cylindrical container with small drawers around it. Numbered sticks have been placed in the container.
You will need to draw up the whole bundle of sticks and drop them back into the container. The sole stick that sticks out is your 'luck'. You then match the number on the stick with the appropriate drawer. Each drawer contains pink slips of paper with the fortune told in Chinese and English.
In the small garden at the front of the temple are interesting statues of
Kuan Yin and the Three Wise Men.
The God of Longevity, he holds a staff and a peach;
The God of Wealth, he holds a sceptre sword; and,
The God of Happiness and Prosperity, he holds a child)
Sculpture of the 12 animals representing the years in the Chinese calendar can also be seen.
Thean Hou Temple Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: Daily: 09:00 - 18:00
Address: 65 Persiaran Endah, Off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50460
Tel: +603 227 4 7088
Thean Hou Tempel
|THE TIAN HOU LEGEND
Lin Mo was born
on the 23rd day of the 3rd month of the lunar calender in 960AD
(Song Dynasty). The baby was given the name Mo (silence) because
as a newborn she never cried. She grew up in Meizhou Islands off
Putian in Fujian and died on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month
in 987AD at the age of 27.
Lin Mo was always lending a helping hand to villagers who were
in difficulties, and she gained love and respect for her many
good deeds. Her knowledge of herbal medicine enabled her to cure
the sick and she taught the villagers how to prevent diseases
and ward off calamities. She was also familiar with the sea and
was good at making astronomical observations and calculating
weather changes. Lin Mo could tell when was the right time for
sailors and fishermen to go to sea.
As a deity, her reputation spread and grew. It was said that she
could ride the clouds across the ocean, and many times used her
powers to save merchant ships and fishing boats. She was
honoured several titles by different emperors of different
dynasties - Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing. During the Qing Dynasty,
she was known as Tian Fei(Heavenly Princess), Tian Hou (Heavenly
Empress)and Tian Shang Sheng Mu (Divine Mother of Heaven). She
is also known as Ma Zu (or Ma Zhou and Matsu), Tian Hou Niang
Niang and also, Ma Hou.
She was worshipped as a sea goddess by Southern Chinese
fishermen. No fisherman would leave the shore without invoking
her blessings (for a safe voyage) and none would forget offering
thanks after his safe return.
The statue of Tian Hou is normally accompanied by images of her
2 assistants, General Chien Li Yen (Eyes That See a Thousand
Miles) and General Shun Feng Erh (Ears That Hear the Wind).
Ben van Wijnen