Malaysia is famous for its splendid temples, and by far one of the most beautiful one is the Thean Thou Temple. Located in Kuala Lumpur, the shrine offers stunning sceneries over the city. It is one of the biggest Chinese temples in South Asia and it belongs to the Malaysian Chinese community. Thean Thou honors the Queen of Heaven – Thean Hou, which is thought to protect all those who earn their living from the sea. The beautiful temple combines Taoist, Confucian and Buddhist traditions in a very unique way, and it’s surely one of the finest places to visit in Malaysia.
Thean Thou-stunning architecture
The Thean Thou Temple is a remarkable structure that features both contemporary architectural characteristics and traditional elements, including stunning roods, complex decorations, striking pillars and grandiose carvings. The temple has become a very popular place of interest, mainly due to its imposing architecture. The front entrance of the structure includes a multi-arched gateway that features magnificent red pillars. The color red symbolizes luck and richness, so it’s pretty common within most Chinese temples.
If you want to take a break and sip a cup of coffee or purchase souvenirs for your friends and family, head for the 1st level of the temple. The cafeteria and the souvenir stalls located there will provide you with everything you need. The 2nd level displays a multi-purpose hall, whereas the 3rd level houses the offices. You will find the prayer hall on the 4th level. Believe it or not, there are so many places to visit in Kuala Lumpur that it’s impossible not to get attached to them. Thean Thou is just one of them, so if you’re looking for a shrine to pray and know more about the Malaysian belief, this is the place to be.
Representatives of the Selangor and Federal Territory Hainan Association began building one of the biggest Chinese temples in South East Asia on August 30, 1981. The Thean Hou Temple was built on the Robson Hill in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They needed six years and 7 million Ringgit to construct the 1.67 acres temple; the structure was first opened on the 3rd of September 1989 in honor of the Sea Goddess known as Mazu. Her statue can be seen in the central shrine that is positioned on the 3rd level of the building. Beside Mazu, visitors can notice the sculptures of a Hanianese deity, the Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin, and of the Goddess of the Waterfront.
If you don’t know where to go in Kuala Lumpur to find inner peace, make sure to stop by the Thean Hou Temple; the venue is a very important tourist attraction of Malaysia, recently certified as a symbol of the Malaysian Chinese cultural identity by the Tourism Development Council. The grounds are surrounded by lovely ponds and herb gardens. The small tortoises that can be seen in the ponds were unleashed as an act of merit making. Besides, this place enables tourists to delight in the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
Thean Hou Temple-festivities & celebrations
Thean Hou hosts approximately 100 festivities per year. The birthday commemorations of the aforementioned three deities and important traditional Chinese events like the Mid Autumn, Vesak, and the Chinese New Year are celebrated here. In 2009, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) nominated the Mazu belief and tradition as “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”. In fact, this is one of the reasons why the events held at the temple attract so many tourists every year. Thean Hou also includes a marriage registration bureau that manages to lure in about 5000 couples every year, mainly during the fortunate 8th lunar month. If you don’t know what to do in the Thean Hou Temple, you can always get married here.
The Thean Thou Temple features several prayer rooms that are filled with golden statues and various other decorations, all being dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy and to the Goddess of the Waterfront. The prayer hall is provided with three altars, each of them featuring a sculpture with a goddess or deity. Besides, visitors get the chance to use two different pairs of oracles that are located in the center of the hall. Underneath the prayer rooms you can find souvenir and hawker stalls, and outside you can admire a Chinese garden crowded with medical and healing herbs, and a lovely tortoise pond. Out of so many things to do in Kuala Lumpur, exploring the wonders of the Thean Thou Temple will certainly be an unforgettable experience.
Tourists are more than welcomed to visit the Thean Thou Temple in Kuala Lumpur; however, it’s important to respect the culture and the traditions. Be polite, esteem the gods, and value the belief. Women are advised to cover their faces when entering the shrine, and last but not least, the worship place must be protected and kept in an immaculate condition after your visit.