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Thursday August 18, 2011

100-year-old temple in Bercham to have a grand celebration

THE Huat Tian Keong temple in Bercham is a unique place of worship with 88 types of Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu deities in its cave.

Among them are statues of the ‘Laughing Buddha’, Lord Ganesha, Thailand’s monk Lombok Khoon, a Siamese God ‘Lusi’ (King of Bomoh) and the temple’s main deity Huat Tian Keong (Datuk Hitam).

There are also the figurines of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

Majestic: The Huat Tian Keong cave temple is 100-years-old.

Temple treasurer Sunny Mangal Singh, who is of Punjabi-Chinese parentage, said the temple had been in existence for over 100 years.

He said he had sourced the statues from all over the world to be placed at the temple located on a 3.2ha site.

A 60-feet tall dragon statue is neatly placed on the outside of the cave making it look like it is descending from the top of the cave.

To fulfill a vow for his business to flourish, Mangal Singh also constructed a feng shui mountain in 2004.

Homage to deities: There are 88 different types of deities placed at the Huat Tian Keong temple in Bercham.

He added that in 2008, the state government had declared the area as a temple reserve land.

“People of all races from all over the country and even tourists have been visiting this cave temple. The temple committee had also set up a restaurant for the devotees to get refreshments. We rely on donations and the profits from the restaurant is used to pay for utility bills,” he said.

Mangal Singh said to celebrate the birthday of the main deity, a grand procession had been planned on Aug 20 with a 1Malaysia concept.

Nature’s best: The cave temple is known for its beautiful landscape.

The 4.5km procession would make its way to the main streets in Bercham.

“We will have Siamese, orang asli, Indian and bhangra dances, accompanied by Chinese drums and a kompang troupe following a decorated lorry carrying the deity,” he said, adding that 5,000 people would be attending the event.

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