Penang is without question well-known for its historical buildings and beautiful temples. In Penang, you will see many beautifully designed temples scattered throughout its capital city of Georgetown. Han Jiang Ancestral Temple in Chulia Street is amongst one the many beautiful temples in Penang as possible visit here.
The magnificent Han Jiang Ancestral Temple Penang was built in 1870 whenever a sizeable quantity of Teochew Chinese from the Chaozao province of China began to stay in Penang. Originally this Penang temple was called the Teochew Kongsi, functioning as a clan association building, before it was renamed to Han Jiang Ancestral Temple in 1935. Han Jiang Ancestral Temple is considered to be the best-maintained Teochew temple in each of South-east Asia and has won the 2006 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for cultural heritage conservation.
Once you look at Han Jiang Ancestral Temple from the street you’d oftimes be correct in mistakenly assuming this Penang temple seems like any other Chinese temple in this island state. However, once you step into this magnificent Penang temple you will feel as if you have been transported back time especially once you go through the temple’s well-preserved 19th century architectures.
This Penang temple was originally built with a four-point gold quadrangle design. Once the Teochew community in Penang had finally prospered, an ornate Chinese-style outer gate building was added to the Penang temple. One thing that you will be interested to learn relating to this Penang temple is so it has the greatest entrance door in Penang when comparing to one other clan temple buildings in this island state. It can also be one of many few temples that are allowed to possess three doors instead of just one or two doors hoanh phi cau doi. This is because the shrine of Shang Di Gong, the best of the Chinese deity, is in the temple.
Another interesting feature you will notice relating to this Penang temple is its not enough windows. This Penang temple four-point gold quadrangle design air-well is gourd-shaped which symbolises the holding of money. The absence of windows is believed to stop money from leaking out from the temple.
If you take a peek as of this Penang temple massive main door panels, you will see that the panels are intricately decorated with the motifs of the imposing Door Guardians, Qin Shu Bao and Yuchi Gong, making use of their unique gold-coloured helmets. Once you take pictures beside the doorway and compare your personal height with it you will understand just why the entrance door is recognized as the greatest one in Penang.
If you turn your gaze upwards, you can see the typical Teochew architecture reflected in the rectangular spiral cross beams constructed above the main cross beam. Have a wander into the outer hall of the Penang temple and you will see the beautiful altar dedicated to the Teochew patron deity who is recognized as the Taoist god of the north. Additionally, there are a lot of stone ancestral tablets placed here. Above this altar is a published plaque with gold letterings.
The 2nd hall of the Penang Temple houses the shrine of Shang Di Gong. You’ll observe that the big courtyard of the second hall is tiled with granite slabs and has several plants such as for example pomegranates, lotus and bamboos growing here. As you go through the gateway, you can see the statues of three carps. Meanwhile the rooftop is decorated with two beautiful statues of green dragons. It’s believed that after the carps jumped the gate they’ll be transformed into dragons.
You can see three altars with incense urns in this Penang temple third hall. Additionally, there are ancestral tablets containing the names of the Teochew community’s forefathers and community leaders. From the numerous ancestral tablets placed here you are able to genuinely have a sense that Han Jiang Ancestral Temple emphasises on honouring the legacy of the previous generations who made their home in Penang.