The Taoist God of War, Guan Di, watches defensively over the temple entrance. Standing majestically in his resplendent uniform, his eyes fixes fiercely upon you.
Known as one of China’s greatest warriors, Guan Yu, also known as Guan Di or General Kwan is also worshipped widely outside China.
If you take happen to take a stroll along Jalan Tun H.S. Lee in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur you will find a quaint temple built in the great warrior’s honour.
The Guan Di temple, built in 1888, makes it one of the oldest temples in Chinatown and is housed in the premises of the Kwong Siew Association.
Dragons and fishes adorn the rooftop and gateway of the temple symbolising power and wealth. The fiery golden dragon coils the temple pillars, standing alongside Guan Di and his counterpart, Skanda, clad in armour and headgear of a Chinese general with a vajra staff in his right hand.
The bright red walls of the temple symbolise abundance and happiness; it is also protected by two fearsome stone lions, scaring evil spirits away.
Worshippers and visitors, however,have nothing to fear as they are welcomed to visit the temple.
The heady smell of incense greets one as they walk through the large temple doors. Hanging symmetrically from the ceiling are coils of spiral incense. Burnt in tandem, its fragrant odour permeates the sacred temple courtyard.
Worshippers’ are seen carrying fruits, flowers and incense sticks, placing them on the table in front of the Guan Di statue. He is sitting resplendently in a green robe with a smile on his golden face. Incense sticks burn slowly in front of him.
The temple is a buzz of activity as some are seen burning paper offerings’ at the brick kiln at the side, while other’s mutter a silent prayer with a burning joss stick clasped firmly in their hands.
Most who come here, seek protection from Guan Dian, others’ to make wishes of prosperity and general well-being.
Other important deities in the temple are Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy), Choy Sun (God of Prosperity), and Wen Chong (God of Education and Learning).
Anyone can enter the premise, and take photographs of the beautiful temple walls. There are also benches by the side to sit and observe the intensity of it all.
The Guan Di Temple opens daily from 7 am till 5 pm. Admission is free.
Further enquiries, contact:
Contact the Malaysia Tourist Centre (MaTIC) at 109 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Tel:+603-9235 4848 / 9235 4900 or the Tourism Infoline : 1-300-88-5776
Alternatively, check out the EarthGuide at www.earthguide.com.my. They have a useful map of Kuala Lumpur city especially suitable for walks!
To get to Chinatown (Petaling Street), board the Putra LRT train and stop at the Central Market (Pasar Seni) station. It is only roughly a 10 – 15 minutes’ walk to the temple. Follow the signposts along the way.