Thean Hou is one of the oldest temple and tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It became one of the main tourist attraction in its own right, especially during Chinese new year, festivals and birthdays of various gods for Chinese people.
Goddess of Heaven Tian Hou resides in this six-tiered Buddhist temple. Along with goddess, there are other gods like Guan Yin (goddess of mercy) and Shui Wei Sheng Niang (goddess of waterfront). It represents a combination of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
It’s one of the largest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. You will see the tourists and visitors very often in this temple. Some devotees burn joss sticks infront of Buddhist pagoda, kneel in prayer and place offerings at the feet of gods.
The traditional style and architectural designs are the embodiments of this temple. You can even see the dragon inspired columns and pagoda rooftops with its intrinsic structures and ornate carvings including Phoenixes looking at the sky. You will be able to enjoy the spectacular view of Kuala Lumpur along with Petronas twin towers and KL towers from the rooftop of the temple.
The entrance gate of the Thean Hou temple shows its charming piece of architecture which keeps up the Chinese architectural constructional style.
The temple always decorated with red lanterns at festival times which represents the prosperity and good fortune. Inside the temple, visitors can have their fortune told by temple monks. There are 3 fortune telling machines you can draw a lot by selecting one sole stick that sticks out and find out the number it shows and match it to the same box number, pink slip of paper with written fortune appears in Chinese and English language. Every year cultural activities like mooncake festival and Wesak day are celebrated in the temple.
The building has four levels, wherein the fourth level temple was located. The cultural and religious activities held regularly at the temple main hall fourth level. Second and third level mainly functions as marriage registration centre and dinner ceremonies for the people. The first level has the canteen filled with cuisines. On valentines day most of the marriages are held here in a grand way.
Beside the temple, there is a small garden with altruistic sculptures of Chinese gods and 12 animals representing zodiacs. The cycle repeats itself for all the animals every year. Every year one animal will get chosen as the fortune for Chinese people in Zodiac. The chosen animal self-made statue will be kept beside the temple for a whole year. Each zodiac animal represents the year and common characteristics of people born in those years on the small stone infront of the statue.
The small area of tortoise pond and Chinese medicinal herbs garden located outside the temple. There is a path to the turtle pond with a number of small turtles. It is popular especially with small children and contains the turtles cramped together. Don’t throw any coins in the pond since all the coins are not eatable and hazardous to turtles.
The backyard of the temple is filled with different types of plants and trees that keep the atmosphere pleasant and irresistible, making the entire temple seems to be wrapped in nature.
You can take some good pictures with nice sceneries while you are in the temple along with some small statues and garden areas. The beautiful sceneries of the temple make you believe and experience the peaceful and spiritual uplifting while you are in the temple area. Though it’s too commercial nowadays still its the largest temple in Malaysia.
You can spend 1-2 hours in a temple and get the experience of Chinese culture. I will definitely recommend this temple to the visitors who are visiting for the first time in Kuala Lumpur. The temple at night time during the Chinese new year or festival times filled with sparkling red lanterns have a vibrant and elegant look.
How to reach:
Unlike many attractions, you cannot reach this temple by train or local bus. You can only reach the temple using a taxi or by walk. You can book a taxi or grab Car from KL Sentral to Thean Hou temple directly, it costs around 5-6 ringgits.
- To reach this temple you need to get down at Tun Sambanthan monorail station from KL Sentral.
- Cross the road by using the bridge to the school named as Kuen Cheng high school (Chinese school).
- Walk in the left side lane for 600 metres you will see the signboard showing Thean Hou temple and follow the lead.