Sunday, September 26, 2010

CAPTURE 9 : Tua Pek Kong Temple, Taiping

Entrance to the main prayer hall.

Temple the background is the Maxwell Hill or Bukit Larut

The main deity..Tua Pek Kong

 Places of worship have always aroused my passion for matters spiritual. I always ponder the concept behind each, and try to understand the reasons that led to the building of many houses of worship that ranges from Chinese Temples, Buddhist Temples, Hindu Temples, Churches/Chapels and small shrines located in the surrounding areas. Since young, my fascination towards these edifices spurred me to visit and enjoy the all-peaceful atmosphere, which pervades these places. I cared a little about my faith in term that I do not worry or feel strange to step into different houses of worship, as long as I do not violate their beliefs and code of conducts. The important part of my faith in God is that my parents guided me from young age to exercise greater tolerance and respect for all houses or worship, other than the ones that belong to my professed faith. Though I go to Hindu Temples quite often, there are occasions where I go to Chinese Temples, Buddhist Temples and Churches and had the same blissful experience. It gives me a sense of freedom from many mundane things.

Main Gate for Entrance/Exit

Front Portion of the Temple...look at the designs on the pillars!

Spiral shaped Joss Sticks

Other minor deities inside the temple

Burning Joss sticks sends smoke signal to the gods that offerings have been made

Lights lit as a prayer for blessing and wish fulfillment
 The atmosphere that permeates these places though inexplicably strange, yet very positive one as it makes one feel so energized and peaceful. The smell of burning joss sticks in the temples and the smell of burning candles in the church render my mind still for a brief seconds, enough to embrace the divinity and the subtle benevolence from an unseen dimension. Recently, I went to a Chinese Temple located nearby my house. I had never been there before. Unlike most Chinese Temples that I have visited in the past, where extensive cultural artifacts, which correspond to respective dynasty the temple, originated, the calligraphy and wall display of folk-customs displayed in various colors, this temple is relatively small with lesser display of wall paintings with very simple architecture, but displaying the typical religious architecture of China. According to the temple caretaker, this temple is 151 years old. 

Good Luck Tortoise

A small shrine

A place to burn incense paper...believe can rid one of bad lucks

A lantern hanging at the main altar

Another shrine

Joss Stick for sale.....price goes by the size.

Lantern decorates the entrance to the temple

Head of the dragon

Painting on the pillar - dragon

Tiger......personification of war and fearlessness

Carrying tray full of gold bar......symbol of prosperity

History goes that Tua Pek Kong, was actually a man named Zhang Li from the Hakka clan. Due to bad weather condition, during one of his sea-faring journey to Sumatra, Indonesia his boat stranded in Penang Island, and he became a respected community figure for the locals. A few decades after his passing away, the local people began to deify him and subsequently started to built temples and shrines for him. He was given the honorific title of Tua Pek Kong, which means Great Grand Uncle. 

Spiral Joss Sticks are used to pay homage to God of sky

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Babli said...

I appreciate for your wonderful post. All the pictures looks beautiful and gorgeous. Marvellous photography with lovely description.

Chandrika Shubham said...

Awesome pics! :)

I liked the first, lighting diyas and the plant very much. :)

Livsnjutaren said...

Lovely pictures.

Evelyn said...

You've captured some really interesting shots of this place.

Barbara said...

The spiral shaped joss sticks must be interesting to burn.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thanks for such an interesting and educational post. I also enjoy visiting and studying Houses of Worship. I haven't been overseas much to see others --but we visit ones here in the USA when we are traveling...

The colors are marvelous in and around the temple.. Thanks for sharing.

indicaspecies said...

What a fabulous series of photos. Oh, I love those prayer flags fluttering in the breeze with the backdrop of the mountains.

sonia a. mascaro said...

What a fantastic series of pictures! Love to know about India!
Thanks for sharing your beautiful country and culture.

Thanks for your visiting and comment.
Have a nice weekend.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Magnificent pictures! Thanks for sharing them with us. There is always something to learn from your posts.

Happy Holidays!


sage said...

These are beautiful photos and I certainly agree that whenever we visit a place of worship that is not our own, we should respect those who do worship there. Nice thoughts.