Penang is without a doubt famous for its historical buildings and beautiful temples. In Penang, you will dsicover many beautifully designed temples scattered throughout its capital city of Georgetown. Han Jiang Ancestral Temple in Chulia Street is amongst one the countless beautiful temples in Penang as possible visit here.
The magnificent Han Jiang Ancestral Temple Penang was built in 1870 whenever a sizeable number of Teochew Chinese from the Chaozao province of China began to settle 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 every one 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 road you would probably be correct in mistakenly assuming that Penang temple appears like any other Chinese temple in this island state. However, when you step into this magnificent Penang temple you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time especially when you consider the temple’s well-preserved 19th century architectures.
This Penang temple was originally constructed with a four-point gold quadrangle design. When the Teochew community in Penang had finally prospered, an ornate Chinese-style outer gate building was added to the Penang temple. A very important factor that you will be interested to understand about this Penang temple is so it has the biggest entrance door in Penang in comparison with one other clan temple buildings in this island state. It can be one of many few temples that are allowed to have three doors instead of just 1 or 2 doors cau doi. The reason being the shrine of Shang Di Gong, the highest of the Chinese deity, is inside the temple.
Another interesting feature you’ll notice about this Penang temple is its insufficient 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 prevent money from leaking out from the temple.
If you take a peek only at that Penang temple massive main door panels, you will dsicover that the panels are intricately decorated with the motifs of the imposing Door Guardians, Qin Shu Bao and Yuchi Gong, with their unique gold-coloured helmets. Once you take pictures beside the door and compare your own height with it you’ll understand why the entrance door is recognized as the biggest one in Penang.
If you turn your gaze upwards, you will see the normal 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 dsicover the beautiful altar focused on the Teochew patron deity who is known as the Taoist god of the north. Additionally there are lots of stone ancestral tablets placed here. Above this altar is a written plaque with gold letterings.
The second hall of the Penang Temple houses the shrine of Shang Di Gong. You will notice that the big courtyard of the next hall is tiled with granite slabs and has several plants such as for instance pomegranates, lotus and bamboos growing here. As you consider the gateway, you will see the statues of three carps. Meanwhile the rooftop is decorated with two beautiful statues of green dragons. It’s believed that when the carps jumped the gate they will 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 can really have an expression that Han Jiang Ancestral Temple emphasises on honouring the legacy of the prior generations who made their property in Penang.