Monday, 9 January 2012

Then Sze Koon Temple Seremban

My sister house is just within walking distance from the now famous tourist site in Seremban. The last time I went there was more than 10 years ago. On New Year's Day , I visited the temple with my mum and friends.

It is located at the peak of the Wu Gong Hill, Bukit Jong facing Seremban below the hill.

The place I am talking about is Then Sze Koon temple or Wu Gong Hill or Centipede Hill. To reach there you can refer the map below.

You can't miss it as the place is visible from the road

Buses can park at the hill bottom parking lot. For cars and light vehicles there are two different path wide enough to reach the top. The first path option is go straight up up the hill after you turn right from the main road, ignoring the parking lot for buses. Another is slightly further up the main road and make a turn to the right passing  a large monsoon drain.You should select this during peak season as there is ample parking.

This parking lot will be packed with tourist buses on weekends

If you choose to park at the hill bottom below, you need to walk through a small village's path before climbing the 264 stairs up.

The Then Sze Koon Temple  turned into a fairyland as thousands of colourful lights set the temple aglow.

 Will be opened to the public until midnight during Chinese New Year.

On the way you will find a Indian Muslim mosque and a Indian temple at hill below. What missing now is a church to complete a '1Malaysia' worship centre? You will also find a large Three-legged Money Frog with a coin in its mouth .The King Money Frog is a Chinese mythical creature , believed to drive away evil, protect wealth, and increase income.  The frog sculpture awaits visitors halfway up.

Money Frog- Will bring good luck by rubbing it  belly to make wish come true

Then Sze Koon temple is established in the year 1864. It is located at a front of "rock ship". Also inside is the Purple Cane Gazebo and Dato altar. This hill was once filled with poison snakes and wild animals. So in order to get peace and protection, the folks decide to pray to the gods and through a medium the spirit of Then Sze ( an ancient Taoist Priest) instructed to built this temple at the peak of the hill.

How did it became to known also as Wu Gong Hill? In 1998, a reporter from a Chinese daily came to pray to the Then Sze deity and spotted a white centipede. He struck first price after buying numbers from a gambling outlet. He was so pleased that he wrote stories about this. Since then whenever people see a centipede they will associate good luck with it.

The largest centipede in the world. Don't worry it's just a prop. The largest type of living centipede is 12"length 

Arthropleura was an ancestor to centipedes and millipedes. It could reach more than eight feet (2.4 m) in length, and the fatter creatures could be several feet wide.  
 On the other hand, this giant prop size centipede are "real", it did occur hundreds of millions of years ago,  an ancestor to centipedes and millipedes.  It's rather unusual with its monstrous form would have allowed it to prey on most anything but this prehistoric bug was entirely herbivorous. This might not have any effect if we try to use the Baygon household Spray on them.

Newspaper clipping article about a golden color centipede found. Centipedes occur in several
colors and patterns but most common are brown and reddish orange

Another legend that most have not heard is that Wu Gong Hill was also part of the legendary story of cursed rock ship.The front of the Then Sze Koon temple is the Captain's Deck, while the back row ,there is a piece of rock that also shape like ship stern.

Ship Stern Rock (Rear part of a ship)

Rumours claimed that there are treasure buried in the hill.

The cursed rock ship story. You probably might have heard this when you are young.

This folk story has being told in different countries version -

In Malaysia it is known as Si Tanggang (or Si Tenggang), In Indonesia, the story is called Malin Kundang, At Air Manis, a beach near Padang, has a rock formation called Batu Malin Kundang that is said to be the remains of his ship along with Malin Kundang's rock in Beach in bowed kneeling position- so real alike and Brunei, the story is Nakhoda Manis.

The Ungrateful son cursed into stone

Basically the story is more or less like this.

A long time ago, there was a young man who left the village for a better life. Although his mum reluctant to let her only son go but he promised to come back when he has found fortune.

Many years later, now a rich man and has a beautiful wife. When his mother come to greet him, he refuse to recognize she is his elderly mother. He has ignored the sacrifice his mother has done for him.

She did not give up and continued shouting, "I am your mother, I missed you so much, son, come back to me...," He was even more embarrassed. He commanded all his crew members to push her away. She was heart-broken.

The sky suddenly turned dark and the wind became strong.  Thunder struck Si Tanggang ship and GOD punished everyone in the ship -Si Tanggang, his wife, his ship and his crew turned to stone.

There is also a classic black and white movie I have seen it a long time ago called Si Tanggang (1961)- the unfilial son , starred the late famous Malay actor/director/singer - Tan Sri P. Ramlee.

Apart from the main deity, sculptures of the Goddess of Mercy Guan Yin, the monk Xuanzang and his three disciples, and the “Eight Immortals” of Taoist legend greet visitors as they wind their way around the temple grounds.

 This place has WIFI..

New addition adding turtle. I am bit disappointing this time , They should built a large turtle pond instead of
cramp housing. Turtles need provide water, shade and food.
This turtle upside down. I have seen an amazing short video of a tortoise came to the rescue by  flipping its upside-down friend back over while children cheer them on in the background.

An imaginary billboard project of new expansion plan

Goddess of Mercy Garden and Pond

Plenty of japanese koi fish in the pond

Wow,it's so Hot today- Sun Wukong complain

New Addition Guan Gong Temple
Guan Yu belonged to the group who aspired to restore the Han Dynasty. He had met two other persons with the same ideal; Liu Bei, (刘备)a distant member of the Han royal family and Zhang Fei (张飞). 

 Just as Dumas' heroes remain faithful to the French King, they became sworn brothers at the Peach Garden (桃园结义) and vowed to work together towards the revival of the Han Dynasty. Liu Bei was the eldest of the three brothers; Guan Yu was the second brother and Zhang Fei the youngest. "Chinese Three Musketeers".... “All for One”. 

Sis Don't Take Han Xiang Gourd ,take my cup!

The temple is also undergoing hall expansion works plan and this time I think I will visit more just for the lovely Seremban panoramic view.

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