Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

Knowing me, Knowing you..... Aha.....!

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Cave Temples of Ipoh

It was a cloudy morning of July 22nd 2009 when we set out on our journey to Ipoh. On this same day, it was reported that there would be a partial eclipse of the sun at between 8:23 - 9:48am. We didn't capture the eclipse though as we only started our journey at 10:30am. I love going back to Ipoh. Like the John Denver song, Country Roads, take me home...to the place where I belong.....

Ipoh is situated in Kinta Valley, sandwiched between the mountain ranges of Keledang and Titiwangsa. I always look forward to this magnificient view of great limestone hills as we are reaching this former tin-mining town. On the way, we passed by Gunung Rapat area and decided to make a quick stopover at some famous cave temples of Ipoh as we had half an hour to spare. All these cave temples are built within natural rock formations and are places of worship for Buddhist and Taoist devotees. There are at least 3 cave temples along the same road.

This is Ling Sen Tong Temple or Cave of the Goddess of Providence. Please click on the picture for an enlarged view. Can you see the big forrested limestone hill at the back of the temple? The entrance to this temple is flanked by 2 dragons, 2 mythical lions and 2 Door Gods.

Upon entry, you will be greeted by the God of Prosperity. Together with the golden toad, they bring wealth. The golden toad is sitting on plenty of gold ingots and the God of Prosperity is holding some too. There are also statues of the Buddha, Master Xuan Zang (a Tang Dynasty monk), the Monkey King, God of Longevity, dragons and other mytical figures and deities. When you click on the picture, you will see a lady lighting up some joss sticks to pray. The hanging coiled shaped incense are used to pray for 'special request' e.g. health, studies, marriage, safety, business, etc. There is a pink cardboard paper hanging from each coil. The name of the devotee will be written on this paper. It's like a message/memo ID. Notice also the two dragons coiled around the two pillars.

This is the giant statue of Guan Yin or Goddess of Mercy. Can you see the blooming bougainvillea plant? There are palms, ferns, potted bougainvilleas and alamandas everywhere too. In front of Guan Yin, there are 3 giant joss sticks. A gentleman is praying to her admist the tranquil surroundings of a limestone rainforest.
Can you see the golden statues of the Four Heavenly Kings on the rooftop? They are the Guardians of the Four Compass Directions, also known as Four Deva Warriors, Four Lords of Dhamma and Four Keepers of the World. Here, you can find 3 white elephants and a couple praying to Buddha.

The next in line is Nan Thean Tong Temple or Cave of Southern Heaven. On the temple grounds, there is a beautiful landscaped garden and pond with fishes and tortoises. Beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations can be found inside the temple. This temple was founded in 1867.

Finally, this is Sam Poh Tong Temple or Cave of Tripple Gems. There is a beautiful and award winning, landscaped garden here. My next post will be on this garden.

13 comments:

  1. That rocky feeling, strong as ever, keeps coming as we pass through Ipoh,... nowhere else can we find such a number of limestone hills. The green is somehow greener there... haha.
    They already knock off a few for cement factory, at least one for tiles. I hope they don't touch the rest..

    Hey, it must be fun balik kampung!!

    ~ bangchik

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  2. Thank you for this wonderful tour!

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  3. Hi Autumnbelle, I am from Ipoh too! It is always so wonderful to be able to go back right? I really miss the food there ;-)

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  4. Looking forward for your post about the garden. The place looks inviting.

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  5. Hello Autumnbelle, what alovely tour of the temples. I like the first shot of the highway too. Just checked out your older posts and the one on the Moss Rose and the White Vinca....loved them. Will surely be back to learn lots more!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog...loved your visit!

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  6. Oh My Buddha! I love temples in all their rich decor and colors! The scale of Guan Yin is amazing! Your first photo is so pretty, Autumn Belle, but all these temples at the base of the rock walls..beautiful! Thank you for sharing your day with us!
    Lynn

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  7. Bangchik, Tatyana, Stephanie, FJL, Kanak, Lynn. Glad to know that you like this post. Actually I am pleasantly surprise to find that Ipoh still preserves much of her colonial history. They are many gardens here and the big old trees are still standing tall. I hope that this beautiful legacy will be passed on to the next generation and many more generations to come.

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  8. Stephanie, I'm so glad to know another Ipoh lass. About Ipoh food, I used to declare that Ipoh food is the best but wait till you say it to the Penangites, they will be very very bising indeed.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this pictorial tour of the Cave Temples of Ipoh! I love seeing pictures of new and different things that are not seen in my everyday surroundings. Enjoyed your garden pics too... it looks as if we have a similar growing climate.

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  10. Thanks for taking us along

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  11. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I love the natural beauty of the Feng Shui garden. It really is hard to believe it's a manmade area. :)

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  12. Thank you very much for visiting my blog and for the nice comments.

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