A BOOK featuring the historic cave temples in Ipoh established before World War II will be available in July.
Although 42 short-listed cave temples appear in the book, only seven temples founded before the Second World War will be emphasised.
The book to be called Historical Records and Legends of the Cave Temples in Ipoh is a joint effort by Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar), China Social Sciences Press, and the state’s Non-Islamic Affairs Committee.
The seven temples are Nam To Ngam, Perak Cave Temple, Loong Thow Ngam Tao, Sam Poh Tong, Nam Thean Tong, Kong Fook Ngam, and Tung Wah Tong Buddhist meditation centre
State Executive Councillor Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said the publication will be a source of primary data for further research in the near future and becomes a permanent historical document for reference.
Dr Mah added that there is also a need to preserve some of the relics found in these temples, which have high historical values.
“I am also honoured that a renowned publisher from China has agreed to publish the book.
“Besides that we are hoping to get more tourists to visit the state. Currently people only know about a few cave temples, and once the book is out, they will have more information about the temples,” he told a press conference at the signing ceremony on the collaboration at the State Secretariat Building last Thursday.
Present at the event were Utar’s Department of Chinese Studies Assistant Professor Dr Tan Ai Boay, co-researcher Toh Teong Chuan, research assistants Tan Chaw Hui and Liow Min Wei, as well as Prof Song Yanpeng of China Social Sciences Press.
Dr Mah said research work for the project started last June, with researchers from Utar headed by Tan, visiting each and every cave to document the sites.
He added that the research team told him that the Loong Thow Ngam Tao Taoist temple in Gunung Lang was among the most authentic Taoist temples in the world.
Tan said her team carried out research by surveying the cave temples on foot, as some of the temples could were not documented in Google Maps.
She said, after performing detailed research work, including checking facts at the National Archives, the team came to a conclusion that the seven temples featured in the book have the most significant historical value.
“The oldest temple is the Kong Fook Ngam Buddhist Chinese temple in Simpang Pulai built in 1890.
“The book will be around 200 pages in Chinese, but there will be English translation for the abstract pages,” she added.