Malaysia – Temples to Visit
One way to get to know Malaysia better is by visiting the country’s top temples. Each Malaysian temple is diverse – having a story often told through its history, its architecture, or the celebrations held inside it. Beautiful and historically significant temples are scattered all over Malaysia but we’ve listed some of the top choices below.
Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Founded in 1873, Sri Mahamariamman Temple is the oldest temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The temple’s most outstanding feature is its 5-tiered gopuram or tower that depicts the 228 Hindu deities that are also featured in Ramayana.
You can also find 4 small shrines in the location, aside from the main shrine. These shrines are the house of Lord Ganesha, Lord Maruga, goddess of wealth Lakshmi, and other deities. You can also see the Silver Chariot with its 240 bells and a couple of horses devoted to Lord Murugan in the main prayer hall.
Mariamman is the manifestation of the goddess Pavati. Indians — especially the Tamils — believe that she protects them from unholy events.
Batu Caves Temple
It is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. This famous temple in Malaysia is situated inside a temple dedicated to Lord Muruga, who is popular for defeating the demon named Soorapadman. People visit here to say their prayers and celebrate the annual festival of Thaipusam.
This temple is situated in Gombak’s limestone hills. The temple complex consists of three main caves and a few small ones. Most of the visitors climb 227 steep steps to visit the biggest cave — the Cathedral or Temple cave.
Aside from the Cathedral temple, you can also see the Ramayana cave that depicts the story of Lord Rama, the statue and temple of the loyal aide of Lord Rama known as Hanuman, and Lord Marugan — which at 140-feet high is the biggest and tallest statue of him in the world.
Kek Lok Si Temple
Located in Air Itam in Penang and facing a panoramic seascape, Kek Lok Si Temple is known as one of the best temples in the island. It is an important pilgrimage place for Buddhists in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and other Asian countries because it is the biggest and largest Buddhist temple that can be found in Malaysia.
Aside from being the biggest, the impressive interior and exterior design of the temple — from its pagodas to its archways — can be a reflection of their faith in Buddha. The temple also is the focal point for Chinese festivities in Penang.
Thean Hou Temple
A commanding religious destination in Kuala Lumpur, Thean Hou Temple is a 6-tiered temple dedicated to the Chinese sea goddess Mazu. The place’s grand structure — a combination of traditional and modern architecture — are able to show the elements of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
As you enter the prayer hall, you can see the altar dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin. Worshippers go here to pray to the goddess, for fortune telling, and for marriage registration services.
The Snake Temple in Malaysia is one of the most unique temples in the world. The temple is always filled with smoke from burning incense and pit vipers that are believed to be harmless because of the sacred smoke. For safety purposes, the snakes have been de-venomed but their fangs are still intact.
This Temple was built in the 1950’s in honour of the priest named Choo Soo Kong. According to legend, the priest made the temple a shelter for the jungle snakes that became his disciples in the long run. After the priest died, the snakes made the temple their own home.
Khoo Kongsi Temple
Khoo Kangsi is the grandest clan temple in Malaysia. Up until today, it has retained its authentic look that includes the association building, the traditional theatre, and 19th-century rowhouses for its members. Because of this, the city made it one of its major historical attractions.
This temple is used for family gatherings of Chinese families with the same surnames. Prayers for ancestors are usually offered here.
Chin Swee Cave Temple
Chin Swee Cave is a Taoist Temple in Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia. The temple attracts a lot of visitors from Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia. In the temple, you can see the statue of Qingshui, who is known for his abilities to call the rain and drive evil spirits away.
It is also a place to pray to the Goddess of Mercy. Here, you can explore the nine-storey pagoda lit by the 10,000 blessing lights from the temple’s devotees.
Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple
This temple is more popularly known as the Waterfall Hill Temple or Thaneer Malai. Visitors need to climb 513 stairs in order to reach the temple and see the main deity — Marugan. The temple is also a place to celebrate Thaipusam festival. Public rituals are usually performed at the pillared outer hall.
Sam Poh Tong Temple
Sam Poh Tong is the oldest and most famous cave in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. The temple’s facade was built in the 1950s. You need to climb 246 steep steps to reach the temple within the limestone cave. With the combination of art and faith, you will see Buddhist statues on stalactites and stalagmites. It is the largest temple cave in Malaysia where you can see the reclining statue of Buddha. One must-try activity here is the releasing of turtles into the pond, which is believed to bring balance to one’s karma.
Nuns and monks still occupy the temple until today.
Ling Sen Tong Temple
Ling Sen Tong Temple is also known as the ‘rock of heavenly spirits.’ It is a Taoist Temple located at the foot of the limestone hill in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. Located right next to Sam Poh Tong temple, the temple has many designs like animals, deities, and Chinese Folklore characters. You can also see the statue of the legendary Monkey King here.
Malaysia is proud of its natural sights and interesting history. Apart from that, they’re proud of their religion, too. Take a trip to this temple to have a clearer glimpse into the extensive and beautiful beliefs of the Malaysian people.