Thean Hou Temple
Working hours: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The multi-level Goddess of Mercy Temple (Thean Hou Temple) is situated at the very top of the picturesque Robson Hill, which rises to the south of the city center. It is considered to be one of the largest and most beautiful Chinese temples in Kuala Lumpur, perhaps even in the whole of Southeast Asia. This complex of majestic buildings, all of which were built in accordance to the disciplines of Feng Shui, is a marvelous example of Chinese architecture and is reckoned to be among the Malaysian capital’s most attractive sights.
The temple’s was built recently, in the late 20th century, with construction works sponsored by the Hainan community living in Kuala Lumpur. It delicately combines elements of traditional Chinese architecture with more modern design tendencies. The Goddess of Mercy Temple is decorated extremely lavishly: its constructions are richly adorned with intricate carvings and colorful frescoes, many of which depict dragons and other mythical creatures sitting solemnly on the delicate roofs. Meanwhile, the arched gates with their red pillars draw the eye at the temple’s entrance. This is no accident: according to Chinese beliefs, the color red symbolizes fortune and prosperity.
The temple complex’s main building has four tiers, three of which are occupied by souvenir shops, a canteen, a banquet hall, and the administrative premises of the center. Meanwhile, the fourth floor houses prayer room. Several altars are installed in this area, each of which is dedicated to a certain Buddhist, Confucianist, or Taoist god. The altar dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy (Guan Yin) is placed to the right from the entrance, while the altar dedicated to the Mistress of Heaven (Tian Hou) is in the center, and the shrine dedicated to the Goddess of the Seas (Shui Wei Sheng Niang) stands on the left hand side. Two pairs of oracles, which can read the fortunes of patrons, are situated between the altars.
A small garden with traditional Chinese herbs and spices can be found on the premises of the temple complex. Further on, the wall of wishes and the pond, which is home to hundreds of turtles, create a harmonic feel. Sculptures of animals, each of which corresponds to a certain year of the Chinese Calendar, are also installed there.
An additional attraction of the Thean Hou Temple is the fact that it is situated on a high hill, which provides guests with breathtaking views over Kuala Lumpur.