Thian Hock Keng Temple @ Telok Ayer Street

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street

During the previous Car Free Sunday, I made a return trip to Telok Ayer Street to take photos of Thian Hock Keng Temple (天福宫) as well as the mural on the rear wall behind it by mural artist Yip Yew Chong.

Did you know that Thian Hock Keng Temple is Singapore's oldest Hokkien temple? Built between 1839 - 1842, many had contributed towards the building fund of the temple but the biggest donor is Philanthropist Tan Tock Seng.

The temple was designed and built according to Chinese temple architectural traditions by skilled craftsmen from China but what's amazing is that not a single nail was used in the construction. It has even received a plaque from Emperor Guang Xu (光緒帝) of the Qing Dynasty!

Imagine that! The great Qing Emperor knew of the existence of our tiny temple far away in South East Asia!

The temple was gazetted as a national monument on 28 June 1973 and among the many awards it has won throughout the years, it's latest win was an honorable mention in the 2001 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards.

With such a rich history and heritage, I wonder what took me so long to revisit this temple. The last time I was here, I was probably still a toddler.

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The main entrance

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
The courtyard

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
Main hall

Inside the main hall is of course the patron deity, Mazu (妈祖), Goddess of the Seas. On either side of her are statues of the Heavenly Sage Bao Sheng (保生大帝) and the Heavenly Sage Guan (关圣帝君)

This photo was taken before I realized that photography is not allowed in the main hall. I just want to draw your attention to that plaque inscribed with the words 波靖南溟 (bo jing nan ming) above Mazu which is bestowed upon the temple by Emperor Guang Xu (光緒帝) from the Qing Dynasty in 1907. The words mean “gentle waves over the South Seas”.

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
Wishing card

You may write your wishes on the reverse side of this card and hang it on a rack near the altar. Hopefully, heavens can receive your message and make your wishes come true.

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
Tradition vs modern

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
Amazing how not a single nail was used to hold everything up

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
The door guardians

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
Ornate roof structures

Apart from the main hall, there are other deities to be found in the East and West wings of the temple. 

In the East wing, we have the Bodhisattva Sangharama (伽蓝菩萨) and Confucius (孔子公) while on the West wing, we have the Sacred Governor Kai Zhang (开漳圣王) and City God (城隍) flanked by Ba Ye (八爷) on the left and Qi Ye (七爷) on the right.

Right behind the main hall where the East and West wing connects is where Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (观世音菩萨) can be found. She is flanked by The Moon Goddess (月宫娘娘) on the left and The Sun God (太阳公) on the right.

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
Bodhisattva Sangharama (伽蓝菩萨)

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
Confucius (孔子公)

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (观世音菩萨) flanked by  
The Moon Goddess (月宫娘娘) on the left and The Sun God (太阳公) on the right

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
The Sacred Governor Kai Zhang (开漳圣王)

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street
City God (城隍) flanked by Ba Ye (八爷) on the left and Qi Ye (七爷) on the right

The photos in this post were all taken with my iPhone except the following ones which are taken with my new Olympus lens. As I was in too much of a hurry to get a new lens after my old 14 - 42mm lens died on me unexpectedly, I did not do enough homework and bought a 40 - 150mm lens that is not suitable for wide shots.

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street

 singapore, temple, thian hock keng, thian hock keng temple, 天福宫, mazu,妈祖,telok ayer street


THIAN HOCK KENG TEMPLE 福德祠
158 Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 068613

Opening Hours
Mon - Sun: 7.30am - 5.30pm daily

Google Map:  https://goo.gl/maps/SzbALz2jHp42
GPS Coordinates: 1.2810871,103.845288


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