Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hock Soon Temple (福顺宫) Part 1 - The Century Old Temple

Location: Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia

I never would have thought of visiting anything else apart from the Leaning Tower when I was in the idyllic little town that is Teluk Intan. As fate had it, I was accompanied by those who grew up there and was introduced to this place of worship which had stood for more than a century.

Mandarin:  fú shùn gōng
Hokkien:    Hock Soon Keong

The main entrance welcomes all to the embrace of the temple proper.

Right behind the entrance plaque, visitors are reminded that Buddha's blessing encompasses all (佛光普照).

The temple itself is ancient, and the painted year of 1883 put it at nearly 130 years old, well past a century.

A century... How many generations had received its blessings? How many wars had it withstood? How many tears was shed in it when the Japanese occupation hit? How many rebuild had it undergone? It had withstood the ravages of time, and will do so again. Truly a marvel, yet left forgotten in the memories of men, save those who were blessed in the past and those who were looking for its solace in the future. Or maybe in the memories of the occasional wanderer.

The spacious temple complex is quite bare and left undecorated, and I do not mean that in a negative way. Save for a Buddha's statue in front of a backdrop and some plants, the sparse area offered a serenity which has became scarce under a pressured working life.

The golden statue of Buddha 弥勒尊佛  watched over the temple nearby the entrance, giving His blessings to whomever passes through the gates. The potted plants and a backdrop of waterfall exuded calm and serenity.

The ornately decorated entrance gate and upturned eaves of the temple roof, which dominate most Chinese (not necessarily Buddhist) temple architecture, are the most distinguished part of this otherwise bare temple complex. Unlike most other temples which I had visited in the past, the cloister is quite bare and devoid of any features.

The spacious cloister is devoid of any features save for a stage under the shades and 2 kilns for burning joss papers.

A shot of the stage under the shade. I believe that this stage will host performances during certain festivals, as is usual in temple complexes. 

A sense of serenity overwhelmed me when I stepped into the temple complex. I remembered letting go of the turmoils of life and just enjoy the silence that enveloped the temple.

Environment:         Riverside; colonial era Buddhist architecture
Suitable for:            A walk down memory lane, and for prayers and blessings.

View Teluk Intan in a larger map

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