Monday, 11 November 2013

Broga Sak Dato Temple (石哪督庙)

It's been a while since my last travel to Broga. My brother-in-law wanted to visit this place after watching My New Village Stories - Broga on Astro AEC (Channel 301) which showcases the development and evolution of new villages.

Broga New Village which is about 8km from Semenyih Town is surrounded by the lush green hills of a tropical rain forest and sits on the edge of the Titiwangsa Range and on the border of Selangor and Negri Sembilan in Malaysia. Situated 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Kuala Lumpur and approximately 33 kilometres (21 miles) from Seremban, the capital of Negri Sembilan.

To go there just take the trunk road to Seremban from Kajang, go past the Semenyih Police Station and just after the Petronas Petrol Station there is a traffic light, turn left go through a stretch of road.

Unlike the old days, motorists have to drive along winding roads leading to Broga new village that will most likely to cause motion sickness.We got an unexpected surprise when we hit the road on 2nd November to find the long and winding single lane break up into two lane road but will end up into a single lane road before reaching Broga.

Previously poor road infrastructure has been reconstructed probably thanks to the presence of University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.

Travelling is now be a breeze.You can save your aromatic medicated oil for your next vacation, drive up the long winding road to Cameron Highlands.

On the way to Broga Village, you will find the University on your left. Go further you reach a rabbit farm on your right, just opposite on the left is entrance to Broga Hill. It is well known location for hiking trails due to impressive mountain peaks.
The entrance to a car park which is actually an oil palm plantation. There is a small charge for parking of RM2 per car to enter the privately owned estate.

Wow, just imagine how much they can earn in one day especially the place is packed on weekends and public holidays with hikers. No fixed timetable for hikers,some people prefer a cool night hike and some got ready in the early morning in time to catch the sunrise.

Broga 'Kojak' Treeless Hill is frequented by casual hikers. It is approximately 400m in altitude and
 is easily climbed by most people. Even young age children (3-5) could enjoy.

The hilltop is one of its kind; unlike anything else as it is rather devoid of trees, which is an uncommon sight amongst tropical rain forest. Remnants of burnt out tree trunks stand  like sentinel ghosts from times past, providing evidence of a forest fires that sweep through but the trees did not regrow from the roots.

Hiking is just not my cup of tea. I rather skip this one.

If you are not planning to go to Broga Hill, after few kilometres further you will reach Broga Village. Broga has a predominantly Chinese population who work mostly in agriculture, especially local vegetables, rubber plantations, palm oil, fishing ponds, fish farming, fruits (durian, chempedak, mangosteen,  ...and lately dragon fruit). There is also a small number of Orang Asli population whose village is located just outside Broga.

Broga takes its name from the River Broga which runs through the area. The name Broga is believed to be derived from Buragas, a mythical beast that lives in the forest.

Our first stop when we reach the village of Broga is to find that uncle Lim Pan mee and ais kacang ABC stall to quenched our thirst. You can't miss it. It is just opposite the Broga Police Station, right before Broga Village Entrance Arc.

 Broga Village Entrance Arc, drive a short distance ahead is the Temple.

Uncle Lim was featured an interview in Astro AEC - My New Village Stories

There is nothing better than some ice cold shaved ice on a hot day.

Shaved ice is or simply know as ABC elsewhere in Malaysia, it's a popular dessert topped with basil seeds, peanuts, corn, and a scoop of ice cream.

One particular thing that puzzle me is stall tables! Solid marble table? So similar with the one use in wet markets where the fish vendor displaying all their fish for sale. Could it be this stall used to be a market?

A mystical lion to protect against or ward of evil at the temple entrance

Nestled amongst green valleys and undulating hills, the Broga Sak Dato Temple( Broga Rock Datuk Temple), sits majestically on a hill overlooking the village.

Surrounding of the temple looks special, it offers a tranquil and peaceful surrounding with beautifully landscaped gardens and unique style. Most visitors regard this place as Punter’s Temple (alike Then Sze Koon Temple or Centipede Temple) because visitors started to win after their bet number hit the winning combination after prayers. Most of them came back to repay Sek Na Tuk good luck bestowed on them wealth with generous donations.

The Taoist temple is the backbone of the quaint and vibrant Broga village, it have attracted thousands of tourists and worshippers since it was expanded 16 years ago.

This spectacular temple set against a picturesque mountain backdrop to its colourful, deeply spiritual and unique culture and has unique statues of the Chinese zodiacal animals.

The Broga Sak Dato Temple was built some 140 years ago and it has been rebuilt in 1991.

At the present time, Broga Sak Dato Temple still continue pending development of new facility and
This Kuan Yin Teng temple has undergone numerous renovations and upgrades.

Thanks to the generous donations of all of our friends and worshippers whose kind hearted, generosity and sincerity to achieving this important goal.  The Chinese temple cannot survive without wide spread public support and donations to carry out to provides funding for major repairs and improvements to the Temple.

Donation of Roof Tiles- My sister donated Rm20 on my behalf.
This Chinese character for compassion,

The whole purpose of going to a holy place is to seek blessings but no doubt temples need to become more commercialised to attracts more people to the Temple, which brings more money and in turn this allows more development.

It's just a thought maybe the temple can provide chalets one day as I reckon this is an ideal place for meditation relaxes for visitors to seek enlightenment just like in Japan's unique Zen meditation at Buddhist temples.

Sek Na Tuk Temple chairman He Ri Xin said that the temple was originally as with many Chinese temples in Malaysia, had its humble origin over a hundred years ago as a simple hut built with zinc roof.

Until one day,a Feng Shui master pass through Broga by chance stumbled upon a long forgotten
cave where the local folks had been worshipping the Sak Dato deity some 120 years ago.
He was so fascinating with the caves in Feng Shui Geography. I can imagine what he's going through.....he walked around with a special compass and start drawing Geometric patterns. Eureka! Or, translated: "I've found it! ...  like an Indiana Jones film, discovering a blessed sacred land.

Together with a temple's committee member they sought permission from Sak Dato through prayers to grant them his blessing for redevelopment and expansion of the crude hut place of worship.

Shortly after getting approval from the deity, the Temple was rebuilt with design of the structures were laid laid out according to the feng shui master in 1991. Since been rebuilt there's no turning back..he has given a new lease of life for temple, saving from ruins and gone to attract more and more people to come over this place.

A Brief History of the Rock Temple 

According to history, the Sek Na Tuk Temple was originally located at the only way up to the mountain for mining. There was a cave by the roadside inhabited by an indigenous man named Ah Man. Everyone who knew him called him by the name 'Sek Man'.(Rock man?)

Sek Man was a warm, generous and kind-hearted man. He was fully aware that most Chinese immigrants were living a hard life. Thus, volunteered to lead them the way to the mine. He also offered tea to those poor passerby and helped to treat miners when they fell sick.

Strangely he disappeared without a trace one day. The miners' attempts to find the missing Sek Man, however failed to locate him. One night, Sek Man appeared to them in their dream, saying he had become immortal being and was honoured the title of Sek Na Tuk by Jade Emperor to protect Broga. 

Datok Kong (拿督公), a.k.a as Keramat Datok, are local guardian spirits.

The miners woke up feeling a weird sensation...their dreams seem so real. Much to their surprise, they all share the same dream. Without hesitation they began to go into the cave to look for Sek Man. They found a giant rectangular termite nest in the cave and when they chopped the nest apart with hoe, a skeleton lay inside it.What was left is the remainder - a piece of cloth and tools left nearby, they convinced they have found the skeleton belonged to the skeleton belonged to Sek Man. ( Back then there is no DNA testing to identify unlike today.)

Consequently the miners unanimously agreed that it was not merely ordinary dream. They gathered up the fragments of his body and buried Sek Man in the cave and set up a shrine to worship him.

Broga Rock Temple is well maintained and clean. Simply one of the best temple I've ever visited.
They are keeping their toilets cleaner than majority of visitors houses.

It has become a popular tourist attraction which offers a good view of the surrounding area and became a perfect spot for your photography location. Chinese New Year MTV was frequently shot at this temple

The temple has an open courtyard surrounded by beautiful flower decorations. One of them is Bougainvillea plant.

Mom taking a short breather enjoying the view before go to pray in the temple.

The prayer halls, adorned with antique artifacts and intricate carvings, near a landscaped garden that, interestingly, it was called the Orchard of the Fruits of Kindness.
The staircase leads visitors to an ornamental arch called “The Dragon Gate”, which presents excellent view of the mountain ranges, the serene skies and a bright blue sea.

Sun Wukong could duplicate one of his body hairs into a clone of himself. It can grow as tall as the sky or
 shrink to the size of a needle at will. Wait until you see the  gigantic size of me!

 This beautiful arch known as "The Dragon Gate"

Stone sculptures of Chinese folklore characters and giant replicas of local fruits line the side of a sculptured that zig-zags stairs through the hillside garden, which is guarded by the Monkey King perched atop a boulder. Fish ponds and oriental gazebos add to the charm.

Above path to kindness: The entrance to the Orchard of the Fruits of Kindness.

Some say this figurine is to depict ancient Chinese military strategist Jiang Taigong

Tourism destination area like this should have bilingual signs in English and Mandarin. This signboard should provide sufficiently explain on its history or what is the purpose of the figurine. Someone from the Temple committee should provide visitors with an official website to get some of the facts correct.
Just like Fo Guang Shan official website provide visitor valuable accurate information .

Dragon head tortoise … carries gold and money.
This Feng Shui item brings us peace and harmony, longevity, status and wealth.

Run, Rabbit, Run!

The size of Sak Dato Temple is not too big, but cover a large area massive temple compounds. Previously it was only one side of the hill but now it included another hill on the opposite side.

Great new addition to the temple, a herb garden were added features making it an interesting tourist stop.

Caricature theme - Journey to the West 西游记

The Matchmaker, or Yue Lao (literally means the old man in the moon), is the god who unites persons in marriage in a Chinese legend that originated in Tang Dynasty.

As the legend goes, the matchmaker holds a book in his hands called "the book of fate", on which the marriage of all people are recorded. Also in his hands there is a red strand, and once he ties a man and a woman on their feet with the strand, the two will surely become a couple even if they were once irreconcilable enemies or strangers far away from each other.
Zhuge Liang (諸葛亮) was a Taoist scholar, also known as Wo Long, or Sleeping Dragon. A brilliant strategist and battle field commander like described in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, written by Luo Guanzhong during the Ming dynasty.

Fuyoo!  Who's That Girl

Cross the other side of the hill, the short paved trail that will take you over the Tai Seng Yah statue link via the suspension bridge. You can enjoy a good cardio work out with its breathtaking scenery.

Children love this Monkey King due to his traits admired because of perseverance, courage and wit to fights demons. Superman is  super hero idols for both kids and adults in the US, but for Chinese people's the Monkey King, there is no doubt in my mind that he is their Hero. I hope that Sandy or Shā Wùjìng and Pigsy both are not jealous.

Wow! there is still a long way to go to reach to the top. Now this type of hiking I don't mind walking.
What's the name of the bridge? If none, I propose we name it 'Nirvana Bridge'.A 340-foot long suspension bridge is hung across the garden. If we look ahead on the bridge, we can see an enormous 40 ft Sun Wukong figurine.

Every time I've crossed a suspension bridge I've felt a little uneasy. I feel a little bit nauseous and a little bit anxiety when looking down from a great height. It's got me reminiscing on movie, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana cuts the rope bridge in half, leaving everyone to hang on for their lives.

Safety aspect of pedestrian suspension bridge.

Modern suspension bridge today is a marvellous engineering wonder with design enhancing safety but like everything else man-made objects do not last forever. Periodic Inspection and Testing is required for safety reason.

Memories are still fresh for three pupil drowned after a newly built suspension bridge collapsed into the Kampar River while participating Camp co-curriculum activity on October 27, 2009.

Various rules and regulation should be outline. 

1-  There is no running, no jumping and no heavy weights while using this bridge.
2-  If visitors want to cross a bridge, only 50 persons may cross at a time..I hope this is an engineering calculation work out by the safety engineer?As displayed below.
3- Temple committee must ensure there is someone guarding at both end of the post to limit visitors crossing at a time.
4- While crossing over this bridge spread out the weight and not focus on one point. Meaning Don't tag along behind closely.
5-  A bridge collapse due resonance is still a myth but it was proven plausible when The Angers Bridge in Angers, France, collapsed on 18 April 1850 due to 478 French soldiers marched on the bridge cause the bridge to collapse. As a result when an army marches across a bridge, the soldiers often "break step or stride". It's Better Safe Than Sorry.
6- Kids banned from singing nursery rhyme "London bridge is falling down". Okay, a little bit superstitious doesn't hurt.

How many people actually bothered to read this sign?

 Suspension bridge you can feel it wobble beneath in the middle distance! Hey Sis... wait up 

At first sight, you think you are now in the city of San Francisco watching the Golden Gate Bridge. Funny, why is the Golden Gate Bridge called golden if it is orange?  

One might think why the temple committee choose the mighty Monkey God as the main attraction for the Sak Dato Temple?  If you remember he is the main character in the novel Journey to the West written by Wu Cheng'en. In the novel, he is a monkey born from a mystical stone from the sky. Lived on the Huāguǒ-shān mountain (literally meaning,"mountain of flowers and fruit") and acquires supernatural powers through Taoist practices. After he wreaked havoc in the Heavenly Kingdom.

He had become so powerful that none of the deities in the Heavenly Court could subdue him. ...except Buddha 

He was severely punished by Buddha by sealed within a rock prison under the Five Finger Mountain for 500 years.

To redeem himself, he is given a reprieve and assigned to accompanies and protect monk Xuanzang on a quest to obtain the holy Buddhist scriptures from India.
Wu Kong was very receptive of this idea and his teacher rename him by that title Sun Wukong."Sun" is a common Chinese surname, and "Wukong" is a Buddhist given.

 When not in use, Monkey shrinks it down to the size of a needle and keeps it tucked behind his ear.

Together with other pilgrims - Pigsy, Monk Sha and dragon horse , they overcome 81 calamities and confrontations in the form of supernatural phenomena and monsters before reaching their goal and returning to China with Buddhist texts for translation into Chinese from India.

Buddha rewards them for their loyalty and hard work—with immortal life and happiness, Sun Wukong was finally granted Buddha hood or zheng guo for his service for successfully completed the mission.

I guess due to he was born from a huge rock and his character was so interesting, born irrepressibly naughty but turn out to be loyal, trustworthy and dependable on pilgrimage to the West.

Inevitably he's the best candidate to represent icon of Broga. A trip to Broga is not complete unless you have visit the Sun Wukong figurine. It's your loss if you haven't before.

 I zoom zoom zoom. Sun Wukong can  change his body into anything from the size of a flea up to a massive giant.

I don't know much about Hanuman to know if that's true or not, but if so ... Hanuman is a simian deity, Sun Wukong is known as the Monkey King. Therefore, is it correct for me to say Broga Sun Wukong is the tallest Monkey God in the world?  The tallest Hanuman statue is the Veera Abhaya Anjaneya Hanuman Swami, standing 135 feet tall at Paritala 240 km from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, installed in 2003.

 I was a bit disappointed  this figurine did not have his trademark band. Sun's erratic behavior is checked by a golden headband placed around his head by Guanyin, which can only be removed when the journey's end.
This version selected when he called himself Měi Hóuwáng (handsome monkey king).

Yo! Fight demon! What's there to be afraid
At the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, Sun Wukong declared himself as,"
I am Sun Wu Kong the Great Sage Equal of Heaven and the Handsome Monkey "
No one one who can portray Sun Wukong better than Dicky Chung

At the Seremban Then Sze Koon temple or Wu Gong Hill, the much smaller Sun Wukong figurine version is a more traditional of him dress in blue fold-over yellow shirt, a white knot-tied belt, pants and
holding the staff while his hand is on his head as if looking for people!

Are you looking for me?

I much prefer this version of him with his tiger skin clothes.

Sun Wukong, is he myth or real?

As the old saying goes - seeing is believing - but is that true? I mean, take ghost for example. Do you believe in ghosts?  Are you the type of person that only believes in things that I can see or that can be proven and then you believe in ghost.

My friend and her sister are strong believers of Sun Wukong deity. Many years ago, my friend nearly fell into a monsoon drain but miraculously escaped from death after having difficulty to control her motorcycle. Her sister is a powerful Buddhist Shaman, she has been blessed to be able to see God spirit physically. When she came home and told her sister, she replied it is not luck that saved her. Guess who came to the rescue? You won't believe it, it's Wukong to the rescue by using his staff to prevent her motorcycle falls.

In another time while I was in their home, my friend sister told us Tai Seng Yah (another nick name) came down from her home altar prayer and then look at me directly Face To Face!! Oh no, what have I done? What did i do wrong? I did not take his bunch of bananas from altar.

Next time I see her, I must ask her how much similarity and diferences version of the one everyone recognizes.

If I heard the story from someone else, I definitely ignore them as a bunch of crap. I believe in miracles, so why not I believe her truthfulness and sincerity?

Sun Wu Kong Hilltop. We have a great view of the fish farms where the tilapia fish are
 served in many restaurants in the area

A new parking lot has spaces for more tourist coming from near and afar. Giant sized Sun Wukong statue appears a dwarf looking from below hill. Wait until you see what's at the top. Temple's expansion plan at the parking background.

Oh no! not another swiftlet bird house which may be considered a nuisance by neighbours. Swiftlet houses create significant noise pollution by setting up speakers to attract swiftlets. 

Fortunately the aesthetic and creativity design of birdhouse didn't spoil the beauty of the surrounding. At first glance I thought it look like Cameron Highland’s Smoke House. My brother in law says its a nice idea cause if the swift bird house project fails they can turn into a rest house after some modification and cleaning. Unlike those I've seen in Sekinchan which looks more like a war bunker.

After visited the Broga Sak Dato Temple, we make our way to "Broga Recreational Fishing Park". This is the most famous restaurant at Broga Hills, known for its grilled fish! Location is quite isolated from village.

To go there, take a left turn around the temple, you shall arrive at the small road and would see a restaurant by the pond.

We have to walk through the small lane by the pond due to a silly woman car was
 haphazardly parked. I didn't want to push my luck and end up in the fish pond.

The speciality of the house here is the grilled tilapia (非洲鱼). The tilapia fish are raised in pond and hence  the freshwater fish are fresh.

Normally freshwater fish (淡水鱼) like Tilapia fish has an earthy smell or taste of algae or mud
which really put me off of eating these types of fish.

How did they can get rid of the smell? The trick is the fish are taken from the pond and kept in a container with clean water to remove the off-flavor taste or smell for 3 days.

When talk about baked fish everyone would thought of baked in a oven on a baking tray. Nowadays most people prefer to bake their fish by wrapping in a aluminium coil. This method is convenient and cut down on oven and utensil cleaning time.

Just as we thought, tender, perfectly cooked fish. Minus the mud stink. 

Could it be may have started as a recreational fishing but someone else suggest why not turning it into a restaurant instead? All those who came here is for the food and not the recreational fishing.

Paradise Valley Broga Resort is one of the few resorts in Broga which offers recreational activities and games such as kayaking, flying fox, rock climbing, camping and many more. This is perfect getaway for the city folks from the hustle and bustle of city hectic life.
A flying fox is a common way to return participants to the ground at the end of a ropes adventure course. My daring adventurous niece, Ji Yen will definitely loves this place. Most girls will cry when selected for PLKN but not her, she even grumble on why time seems to move so much fast while participate in national service.  

After checking the facilities provided in the resort, my bro-in-law is planning his next trip over here for holiday in a not too distant future.

Broga is a newly emerged tourism spot that offers diverse excitements.  Whether you're young or old, this place has something for everyone!

If you are looking for a place to forget all your troubles and test your courage, this is the place.


  1. Enjoyed the place. Great workout walking up to Monkey God statue. Extraordinary view from up there. Broga hill in a distance and the hilly range made me wonder how many more beautiful places in Malaysia unreachable. Huh! Malaysia is - Beautiful!

    Beware! We had dinner at a restaurant leading up the temple. Exorbitant! 2 meat dish (small portion) and a beer for about RM70. A rip-off even by PJ standard. This is just a roof on stilts. Fresh air of course, until people pull into their loose gravel parking lot. That's when you need to decide to cover your face or your food from the cloud of dirt and dust churned up by tires. They can't even have a sign that spells Broga right.

  2. Food prices at Broga shops/restaurants have really gone up over the years.. it's sad to see how prices are hiked to profit off tourists! The owners out to make a fast buck will anger the tourists and this kind of news is bad for the image of Broga tourism. Please do check the prices of food before you order in any cafe or restaurant - if it's too expensive, avoid eating there! Asked the local where to obtain locally for cheaper food if possible.

  3. Food prices at Broga shops/restaurants have really gone up over the years.. it's sad to see how prices are hiked to profit off tourists! The owners out to make a fast buck will anger the tourists and this kind of news is bad for the image of Broga tourism. Please do check the prices of food before you order in any cafe or restaurant - if it's too expensive, avoid eating there! Asked the local where to obtain locally for cheaper food if possible.

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