Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wong Tai Sin Temple,Kowloon, Hong Kong

Covering 18,000 square metres and located in a tranquil natural setting remote from the nearby housing estates and the bustle of their streets, the temple is, apart from being an important religious centre, a scenic attraction full of beautifully ornamented traditional buildings.
It commemorates the famous monk of yore Wong Tai Sin (also known as Huang Chu-ping), who was born around AD 328 and became a deity at Heng Shan (Red Pine Hill) in his later life.
In 1915, a Taoist priest, Liang Ren-an, brought a sacred portrait of Wong Tai Sin from Guangdong in Southern China to Hong Kong. It was only fitting therefore that this magnificent temple be built and dedicated to this honoured divinity revered down the ages for his benevolence. In perpetuation of such an unselfish philosophy, the temple preaches three traditional religions - Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
A two-year “Wong Tai Sin Temple Main Altar Refurbishment and Yuen Sun Hall Erection Project” commenced in April 2008. The original Main Altar and the platform in front of it will be temporary closed.
The sacred portrait of Wong Tai Sin, the patron deity in the Main Altar, was moved to G/F of the Hall of Fung Ming House. During the two-year renovation, visitors are welcome to continue their worship rituals in this Hall.
Other important fixtures include the Three Saints Hall, the Bronze Pavilion (females excluded), the Archives Hall, the Earthly Fountain, the Yue Hing Shrine where the Buddha of the Lighted Lamp is worshipped, the Unicorn (Confucian) Hall where Confucius is worshipped, and the extravagantly colourful Good Wish Garden that is lavishly decorated with many exotic examples of Chinoiserie.