Penang is undoubtedly fabled 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 numerous beautiful temples in Penang that you can visit here.
The magnificent Han Jiang Ancestral Temple Penang was integrated 1870 whenever a sizeable amount 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 absolutely was renamed to Han Jiang Ancestral Temple in 1935. Han Jiang Ancestral Temple is known 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.
Whenever you look at Han Jiang Ancestral Temple from the street you would oftimes be correct in mistakenly assuming this Penang temple appears like every other Chinese temple in this island state. However, whenever you step into this magnificent Penang temple you will feel as if you have been transported back time especially whenever you go through the temple’s well-preserved 19th century architectures.
This Penang temple was originally designed 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 hoanh phi. A very important factor that you will be interested to know relating to this Penang temple is that it has the biggest entrance door in Penang when compared to the other clan temple buildings in this island state. It is also one of many few temples which are allowed to own three doors rather than just a couple of doors. This is because the shrine of Shang Di Gong, the highest of the Chinese deity, is within the temple.
Another interesting feature you will notice relating to this Penang temple is its lack of 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.
In the event that you take a look 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. Whenever you take pictures beside the door and compare your own personal height with it you will understand why the entrance door is considered the biggest one in Penang.
In the event that you turn your gaze upwards, you will see the normal Teochew architecture reflected in the rectangular spiral cross beams constructed above the key 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. There are also a lot 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 observe that the big courtyard of the 2nd 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 will 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 will see three altars with incense urns in this Penang temple third hall. There are also 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 really have a sense that Han Jiang Ancestral Temple emphasises on honouring the legacy of the last generations who made their property in Penang.