Photo: Intricate roof details.

Han Jiang Ancestral Temple

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Han Jiang Ancestral Temple, Penang’s Teochew Kongsi or clan association, is the sole example of traditional Teochew temple architecture in Georgetown, built in 1870 as a centre of fellowship for immigrants from the Guangzhou region in Southern China.

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Over time the building was subjected to a mishmash of unsympathetic additions and in the early 2000’s funds were raised to restore it to its former state. This major project employed artisans from China skilled in traditional lacquer and ceramic work and the resulting immaculate transformation was rewarded the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation Award of Merit in 2006.

Understated but well worth a look. Photo taken in or around Han Jiang Ancestral Temple, Penang, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Understated but well worth a look. Photo: Sally Arnold

The renovation sparked renewed interest with the community in Teochew culture and encouraged the development of traditional puppetry, opera, music and dance, sometimes performed within. Fronting Lebuh Chulia close to Little India, the grey coloured gatehouse encompasses a trio of colossal twin doors painted with beautiful lacquered and gilded temple guards. Take a moment to admire the exquisite three-dimensional filigree work of the main guards’ ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 200 words.)

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