Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur
Quick Facts about Thean Hou Temple
- Area: 1.67 acres
- Managed by: Selangor and the Federal Territory Hainan Association
- Laying of Foundation: 30 August 1981
- Completed: 1987
- Officially opened: 3rd. September 1989 by Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai
- Cost: RM7 million
- Address and Contact of Thean Hou Temple
- 65 Persiaran Endah
off Jalan Syed Putra (formerly Lornie Road)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 2274 7088
Thean Hou Temple History
The original Thean Hou Temple, located in Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur was relocated here in 1987.
It is considered to be one of the largest and most visited holy places in Malaysia. The decorative beams, spectacular roofs, domed ceiling, calligraphic couplets, murals and elaborate embellishments reflect the features of Chinese architectural beauty in Malaysia.
The impressive architecture has made it one of the more popular Kuala Lumpur Attractions.
Architecture of the Thean Hou Temple
Dragons feature prominently in this temple. It was the most revered of animals during ancient times and is symbolic of life. It is a sign of vigilance, strength and goodness.
The Thean Hou Temple has 4 levels:
- Top Level - Main Temple Hall where religious and cultural activities are held regularly
- Level 3 - marriage registration and administrative offices
- Level 2 - banquet hall where Chinese wedding dinners are commonly held
- Level 1 - souvenir shops and food court
Main Prayer Hall
The temple is on the top floor. Here you'll be amazed by the dragon-inspired columns and intricate rooftops. You will be able to enjoy a good panoramic view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
The Goddess Thean Hou is flanked by the Mazu (Goddess of the Waterfront) on her right, and the Goddess of Mercy (Guan In) on her left. These are the 3 principal deities of the Thean Hou Temple.
The Hainanese were traditionally fishermen and sailors. They prayed to and worshiped Tian Hou for safety and protection while they were at sea. This practice has continued even though their community in KL no longer goes out to sea. The people coming to this temple for worship are from all cross sections of the local Chinese population.
Functions of Thean Hou Temple
The temple is also functions as a marriage registration centre. And there is also a very popular hall that is often used for Chinese wedding dinners.
There are Chinese Medicinal Herbs Garden, a Wishing Well as well as a Tortoise Pond in the temple grounds.
In the small garden at the front of the temple are interesting statues of Guan Yin and the Three Wise Men.
Three Wise Men
- The God of Longevity, he holds a staff and a peach
- The God of Wealth, he holds a scepter sword
- The God of Happiness and Prosperity, he holds a child
There is also a collection of sculptures that represents of the 12 animals of Chinese zodiac.
You may take photographs here, but do remember to leave your footwear at the steps before entering the prayer hall.
Cultural Events at Thean Hou Temple
Apart from being a place of worship, the Thean Hou temple also functions as a place for cultural activities.
- Among them are the grand birthday celebrations for
- Thean Hou Goddess
- Kuan Yin and the
- Goddess of the Waterfront
- Dharma Prayers
- Wesak Day
- Mooncake Festival and
- the 15-day Chinese New Year celebration.
DIY Fortune Telling
You can have your fortune told at the prayer hall. There are fortune telling contraptions where you can have your fortune predicted.
Each contraption consists of a cylindrical container with small drawers around it.
Numbered sticks are placed in the container.
You will need to shuffle the sticks while clearing your mind. Then grab the whole bundle of sticks and drop them back into the container. The stick that sticks out carries your fortune. You then match the number on the stick with the appropriate drawer. Each drawer contains slips of paper with your fortune told in Chinese and English.
If you like, you may place a donation into the boxes that are available in the prayer hall. Your contributions will help towards the maintenance of the temple.
Legend of Mazu
Lin Moniang was born in 960 (during the early Northern Song Dynasty) as the seventh daughter of Lin Yuan on Meizhou Island, Fujian. The legend tells that she did not cry when she was born, and thus her given name means "Silent Girl." She was thought to be an excellent swimmer.
She stands on the shore to guide fishing boats home, even in the most dangerous and harshest of weather.
Lin Moniang's father and brothers were fishermen. One day, while they were out at sea, there was a terrible storm. Her family had feared for the worst.
In the midst of this storm, she fell into a trance while praying for the lives of her father and brothers. When Moniang's mother tried to wake her, she diverted Moniang's attention, causing her to drop her brother, who then drowned. When Moniang's father returned after the storm, he told the villages about the miracle that had happened.
After her death, families of many fishermen and sailors began to pray to her in honor of her acts of courage in trying to save those at sea. Much of her popularity in comparison to other sea deities resulted from her role as a compassionate motherly protector.
Mazu is usually depicted together with two guardian Generals known as "1000 Miles Eye" and "With-the-Wind Ear". They are said to have been two monsters whom Mazu was able to subdue. They in turn became her loyal guardians.
Starting from Fujian, the worship of Mazu spread to the neighboring coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Guangdong, and thence to all coastal areas of mainland China. With emigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, it further spread to Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and South East Asia.
The role of Mazu as goddess of the seas ensured that newly arrived immigrants often erected temples to her first, to give thanks for arriving safely. Today there are about 1,500 Mazu temples around the world.
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