Thian Hock Keng Temple
Thian Hock Keng Temple, Singapore © Sengkang
The 'Temple of Heavenly Bliss', the Thian Hock Keng Temple is the oldest and most important of the Chinese Hokkien temples in Singapore. Construction was completed in 1842, in a traditional southern Chinese architectural style, with not a single nail used in its construction. The temple stands where Singapore's waterfront used to be before the land was reclaimed and the main temple is dedicated to Mazu, the Taoist goddess of the sea, to whom Chinese immigrants gave thanks for a safe journey to Singapore. The elaborate doors are guarded by tigers, lions and Door Gods and beyond this gateway there are two courtyards and a series of shrines and pagodas. Those who want to pray should ask for assistance in selecting the right altar or shrine for the kind of prayer they want to make. The temple contains many beautiful statues and altars, and a centre for the creative arts that hosts dance, acting, and music lessons. There is a pagoda behind the temple gate that makes a perfect spot for a cool drink in the shade. The temple is generally quiet and tranquil, unlike many others tourists might visit, and although it isn't a must-see for visitors any traveller interested in such things should find it fascinating.
Address: 158 Telok Ayer Street