Monday, December 12, 2011

Hock Soon Temple (福顺宫) Part 4 - Beyond the Temple

Location: Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia

What lies beyond the temple proper of Hock Soon Temple? An impressive expanse of nature that is the riverbanks of Perak River. My tour guide who lived here for the early half of her life commented sadly that the riverbanks had been eroding constantly since her time. What was once a large distance between the river and the temple, is now closing in fast. Within the next few decades the erosion will come dangerously close to the temple, and the future of the temple will be uncertain.

This expanse of wilderness was much larger than it is now. If the reader were to zoom out on Google Map, this particular location lies on a bend of the Perak River, in which erosion happens quite readily. The river could be seen in this photo just beyond the patch of greenery.

A closer look at the wild greens will reveal a certain beauty and harmony, fitting the temple's function as a place of harmony. The silent surroundings of the temple made it much more soothing for the raging minds of modern men.

The boundaries of the temple are old. The walled fence is meant more to mark the boundary of the temple proper than to keep people from intruding. Did you see what I see on the wall...?

It's a pussy cat! Such a nice little fellow, allowing me to capture this photo before jumping off into its own sanctuary. Note that the carvings on the hole in the wall is quite artistically done, matching those that are within the temple itself.

An irrigation gate. It was not meant for irrigation even when it was installed; its main function was to control the flooding of water from the Perak River. Teluk Intan used to face severe floods during rainy seasons. The gate will be fully lowered when the river is overflowing, thus stopping the reverse flow of water inland.

I was told that this Curtain Fig is far older than even the temple itself. Such enormous trees are quite common in Teluk Intan, each growing to an enormous height, with long dangling aerial roots.

Gigantic joss sticks continue burning for blessings. The smoke will linger long after we left for our next destination, burning for the blessings of others until itself can no longer carry on its task.

When I left the temple grounds, I could not stop myself from having a long last look at the temple itself, mesmerized in its rich cultural art and the fact that it had withstood the ravages of time to continue blessing the mass. And off I went, to my next destination, leaving with a calm mind.

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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