One of our favourite temples in Kuala Lumpur
Published/Last edited or updated: 9th December, 2017
Walking down Jalan HS Tun Lee from Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, just before you reach Sri Maha Mariamman temple, on your left you’ll spy the deep red facade of Guan Di Temple—one of our favourite temples in Kuala Lumpur.
Built in 1888 and dedicated to the ancient Chinese general Guan Di who is considered as a great warrior and worshippers honour him for this skill. He is famous also for wielding a guan dao—a polearm style weapon with a nasty looking blade. You can see a replica (along with a large sword) within the temple. Devotees believe that touching the weapons can impart good fortune, though we saw no great effect!
The entrance to the temple is flanked by both stone temple lions and two towering but dour looking guards, while golden dragons twist and curl their way up the supporting columns. It is a classically beautiful approach. Walk through the entrance and you'll immediately reach three large incense urns, look up to your left and note the pink spirals of incense slowly smouldering away.
Closer to the main alter is a large bench decorated with fruit and pretty flowers. It is here, at the left end of the bench, you’ll see the guan dao and the sword. To the left and right bright green faced dragons curl up the roof supports, glaring at the alter and the man himself while pretty lanterns hang from above. Separate alters to the left and right are equally photogenic—we particularly liked the one to the right with the pink faced statue.
The temple is just a couple of minute’s walk from the centre of Chinatown and if you have time for just the single temple, this should be it—allow 20 to 30 minutes for a good look around. Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is about thirty metres down the road on the other side and Sin Sze Si Ya Temple is a ten minute stroll to the north. The closest LRT station is Pasar Seni. Admission is free.
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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