In Malaysia, temples are the places of daily rituals and religious celebrations for the Buddhist and Hindu communities. Each temple has its own unique history and architectural designs, dedicated to their ancestors and holy deities.
Batu Caves Temple
Hindu devotees frequently visited the Batu Caves Temple to make their prayers. They also celebrate Thaipusam together at the holy shrine, dedicated to Lord Murugan. The temple is located within the Gombak’s limestone hills (40 minutes train ride from Kuala Lumpur). The golden statue of Lord Murugan stands tall at the temple’s entrance with a flight of 272 steep stairs to climb up to the caves. This holy place consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones including the biggest one, Temple Cave. Each cave consists of ornate Hindu shrines, statues and paintings that tell the stories about how Lord Murugan defeated the demon Soorapadan.
Kek Lok Si Temple
Kek Lok Si Temple is an ornate 19th century Buddhist temple located at the top of the hills of Penang Island. The interior and exterior of the temple halls, pagodas and archways are decorated with millions of beautiful images of Buddha and hundreds of outstanding detailed carvings, sculptures and murals. The detailed architectural designs tell significant meanings of Chinese culture and Buddhist teachings. There is an outdoor temple garden in which one can take walks while admiring the beautiful temple, including the three-tiered Kek Lok Si Pagoda with each tier having its own architectural style relating to Buddhism.
Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Along the Jalan Tun HS Lee lies the Sri Mahamarianmman temple, a holy shrine visited by Hindu devotees. The five-tiered temple entrance is decorated with 228 sculpted Hindu deities relating to the scenes of Ramayana. The temple is adorned with Hindu motifs narrated stories of early Hinduism. The main prayer hall has its decorated ceiling and three main shrines. Four small shrines are located surrounding the main prayer hall. These shrines are the house of Lord Ganesha, Lord Muruga, Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) and other deities. You will notice The Silver Chariot, with 240 bells and a pair of horses dedicated to Lord Murugan, at the top right side of the main prayer hall.
Thean Hou Temple
Thean Hou Temple, a six-tiered Buddhist temple, is known as the Temple of the Goddess of Heaven. It is also a shrine for worshippers to pray for Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. The temple has detailed elements of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism along with contemporary architectural details and traditional ornate carvings. Admire the majestic entrance with red pillars and the temple’s dragon-inspired columns and pagoda rooftops. Explore the modern Buddhist pagoda and the octagonal hall enshrined with images of Buddha. Walk around the Chinese medicinal herbs garden and relax by the tortoise pond.
Khoo Kongsi Temple
Khoo Kongsi Temple is one of Penang’s iconic heritages that represent the Hakka community. The temple was built in the 19th century, decorated with stone carvings and murals of divine guardians, deities, immortals, carps and dragons. It is a gathering place for Chinese families with the surname to come to worship their ancestors. The temple maintains its unique history including an association house, a traditional theatre and rowhouses for the clan members gathered at a granite-paved square. The temple is located at the Canon Square in the heart of old Georgetown.
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