Penang is without a doubt famous 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 as possible visit here.
The magnificent Han Jiang Ancestral Temple Penang was integrated 1870 whenever a sizeable quantity of Teochew Chinese from the Chaozao province of China began to be in 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 regarded as the best-maintained Teochew temple in most of South-east Asia and has won the 2006 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for cultural heritage conservation.
When you look at Han Jiang Ancestral Temple from the street you would probably be correct in mistakenly assuming that Penang temple seems like some other Chinese temple in this island state. However, whenever you step into this magnificent Penang temple you’ll 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 built 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 you will be interested to understand concerning this Penang temple is that it has the largest entrance door in Penang when comparing to the other clan temple buildings in this island state. It can also be one of the few temples which can be allowed to own three doors rather than just a couple of doors. The reason being the shrine of Shang Di Gong, the highest of the Chinese deity, is in the temple.
Another interesting feature you’ll notice concerning this Penang temple is its insufficient windows hoanh phi. This Penang temple four-point gold quadrangle design air-well is gourd-shaped which symbolises the holding of money. The lack of windows is believed to avoid money from leaking out from the temple.
In the event that you take a peek 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, using their unique gold-coloured helmets. When you take pictures beside the door and compare your personal height with it you’ll understand just why the entrance door is known as the largest one in Penang.
In the event that you turn your gaze upwards, you will see the typical Teochew architecture reflected in the rectangular spiral cross beams constructed above the main cross beam. Have a wander into the outer hall of this Penang temple and you will see the beautiful altar dedicated to the Teochew patron deity who is called the Taoist god of the north. There are also lots of stone ancestral tablets placed here. Above this altar is a written plaque with gold letterings.
The second hall of this Penang Temple houses the shrine of Shang Di Gong. You’ll realize that the big courtyard of the second 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 will 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 genuinely have an expression that Han Jiang Ancestral Temple emphasises on honouring the legacy of the prior generations who made their home in Penang.