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Tourism Malaysia

Divine Diversions

Malaysia is known for its freedom of religion as enshrined in its constitution. And this right is evident in the many religious symbols and buildings seen throughout the country. Mosques, temples, churches, gurdwaras and others…they cater not only for the believers, but with the popularity of “religious tourism” more people are interested to visit, see and learn about the religious, cultural and aesthetic significance of such places of worship.

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to visit some of the temples in Malaysia.

If you are in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, there is just no shortage of temples to visit. Among the notable ones is Thean Hou Temple that sits along Jalan Klang Lama or Old Klang Road. Built in 1894, it is believed to be one of the oldest and largest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. The name is derived from Goddess Tian Hou who protects the fishermen.

This magnificent Chinese temple has golden roofed pagodas and strings of lanterns. Located inside are three majestic statues of deities, including the main deity Thean Hou. Within its grounds are statues of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac

The Temple is also known as the Temple of Goddess of Heaven, and reflecting this is its beautiful 6-tiered structure that houses a zen turtle pond, the sacred Bodhi tree and many prayer halls. A visit here is to escape the chaotic traffic jam that Jalan Klang Lama is famous for, and a balm for the stressful mind.

Tourists heading north along the PLUS highway will find temples of a different kind, partly a reflection of the unique geological contours of Perak known for its splendid limestone hills and caves.

Perak, once famous as a tin mining haven, attracted many Chinese workers to the area in search of riches. Naturally, there are many temples in the area to serve the burgeoning community.

As a capital city of Perak, Ipoh is dotted with various temples, mostly nestled among the hills and hidden away in caves. One such temple is the Sam Poh Tong Temple. It is said to be one of the oldest temples, even as old as Ipoh itself.

SAM POH TONG TAMPLE – IPOH

The temple gained popularity for its unique landscape and the caves which were carved and made into chamber halls and altars. Practically built into the limestone

inside a mountain, the temple’s unique ambience and peaceful nature adds to the sanctity of the place.

Apart from that, the temple is also popular for its collection of tortoise ponds. According to Chinese beliefs, turtles and tortoises are much associated with longevity and wealth.

Traveling east to Muslim-majority Kelantan, known as “Serambi Mekah” or  Verandah of Mecca,” one might not expect to see any temples. Surprise, surprise, one of the popular tours in Kelantan is to visit all the Buddhist temples in the state!

Whether they are Chinese or Siamese temples, the existence of such places of worship only drive home the fact that religion is freely practised throughout the state.

Tok Mek Temple in Kampung Cina, Kelantan, stands out among all other temples for its historic significance and origins. Officially known as Tin Hin Kong temple, it is reputedly the most famous Taoist temple in the state.

TOK MEK KONG TAMPLE

Known to the locals as Tokong Mek, it welcomes visitors with a bright red arch into an inner courtyard designed with colourful murals and wall relief. What is so special about the place is that therein lies within the temple a drum that was a royal gift from the Sultan of Kelantan.

While these three temples stand out among Malaysia’s landscape as unique, there are hundreds of other temples scattered all over Malaysia that deserve a visit. Some examples are the Centipede Temple in Seremban and the Snake Temple in Penang. It’s just a matter of choosing whichever temple is nearest to you, and don’t forget your photography gear to capture that viral-worthy shot!

 

Temple:   Thean Hou
Address:  65, Persiaran Indah, off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur
Telephone:  +603-2274 7088

Temple:   Sam Poh Tong
Address:  Gunung Rapat, Ipoh, Perak
Telephone:  +605-255 2772

Temple:   Tok Mek
Address:  Jalan Kampung Cina off Jalan Pantai Cinta Berahi, 15300 Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Telephone:  +609-748 4477

 

*number may be updated/changed without prior notice

 

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Categories
Wonderful Malaysia

Hari Raya Haji in Malaysia

Many, generally a non-Muslims, consternation what accurately Hari Raya Haji is, because there are dual Hari Rayas and because Hari Raya Haji is critical adequate to be distinguished as a open holiday. If we are in a dim or have always wondered though not worried adequate to Google why, review on for a ‘crash course’ on Hari Raya Haji (also famous as Hari Raya Aidiladha).

Traditionally, any Muslim who does not have any financial or earthy constraints is compulsory to make a outing during slightest once in their lifetime to a holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for a haj eventuality event. After a pilgrimage, a pretension of ‘haji’ will be given to a group and ‘hajjah’ to a women. The day Hari Raya Haji is distinguished outlines a finish of a pilgrimage, indicating that Hari Raya Haji is indeed a festival and a day to applaud those who have visited a holy city and finished their pilgrimage.

Hari Raya Haji 1

During a Haj period, tens of thousands of Muslims overflow a holy city of Mecca to perform specific rituals, one of that is walking counter-clockwise 7 times around a Ka’abah, that is a cube-shaped structure lonesome with a black cloth that symbolizes a Muslim request direction. Devotees also lick a black mill during a dilemma of Ka’abah, pierce behind and onward between Al-Safe and Al-Marway, splash from a Zam Zam well, mount during Mount Arafar, chuck stones, trim their heads and lastly, scapegoat an animal before final a rituals of Hari Raya Haji.

The scapegoat slaughtering doesn’t usually take place in Mecca though during roughly each mosque in a country. The scapegoat typically takes place during around 11a.m. until noon. The scapegoat of an animal is finished to honour Prophet Ibrahim’s eagerness to scapegoat his son, Ismail, as a pointer of honour to a God. The child’s life was spared during a really final impulse when God took Ismail’s place and gave.

Hari Raya Haji 2

Korban (“slaughter”) will usually be achieved by a masculine devotee. Usually, cows will be slaughtered though during times, goats are sacrificed as well. Individuals or families who can means to minister an animal will squeeze one and present it to a mosque; during times even a state supervision contributes too. To minimize a pang of a animal, a slaughtering routine is finished swiftly. A request is done during a sacrifice; it is believed that toxins will be separated from a animal on show of a prayers. A apportionment of a beef is kept for a family while a others are distributed to a internal community, generally to those in need.

While Hari Raya Aidilfitri is distinguished on a grander scale with new clothes, cookies and delicacies, Hari Raya Haji is a quieter event distinguished to commemorate a sacrifices done by a prophet.

Below a Hari Raya Haji dates for a subsequent few years:

26 October, 2012
15 October, 2013
05 October, 2014
24 September, 2015
13 September, 2016
2 September, 2017
22 August, 2018
12 August, 2019
31 July, 2020

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