Monday, January 14, 2013

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Chi Nan Temple: Tahsiung Shrine

1/14/2013 Taiwan Explorer

Chi Nan Temple 指南宮 (sometimes spelled Zhinan Temple) is one of Taipei's most famous Taoist temples. The name literally means "Point to south temple" and was given after the Chi Nan Mountain 指南山, where it was built. Commoners usually refer to it as Hsien Kung Temple 仙公廟, literally "Male god temple". The name is given out of respect for the god Lü Tung-pin 呂洞賓. What's special about this temple is its location above Taipei, that offers a beautiful view and the fact, that it's not a single temple, but rather a complex of several shrines, of which the main ones are Linghsiao shrine, Chunyang Shrine and the one I'm about to introduce here: The Tahsiung Shrine. The temple is easily accessible by the Maokong Gondola, it even has its own station.

Check my posts about Chunyang Shrine and Linghsiao Shrine.

The Tahsiung Shrine 大雄寶殿 (literally "Hall of Great Strength") is a Buddhist shrine dedicated to Maitreya Bodhisattva. It's the youngest of all the main shrines of the Chi Nan Temple, it was built in 1973. For some reason, it's not fully completed yet, two towers are waiting for a coat of paint. This is also the largest of all shrines and features a very unique design, it consists of 3 domes and a paifang so wide, it looks more like a building on its own. If you see the whole shrine from afar you might think it's a palace.

Let me share some pictures with you from January 2013:

This is the large temple complex. Aside from us, there was only one person here.

My wife taking a photo of the beautiful sunset.

This is her best shot.

A lamp with a swastika.

A view on the temple.

Another angle.

The shrine's focal point: the dome shaped roof.

Two elephants are guarding the temple.

One of the unfinished round towers.

The paifang in its entirety and another incense burner with golden dragons.

This is the inside of the shrine.

It was getting dark, so we decided to leave.

5 minutes of walking uphill and we were back at the gondola station.

Go to the first part of Chi Nan Temple: The Linghsiao Shrine>>


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Pinyin: Zhǐnán gōng Dàxióng bǎodièn
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[My TAIPEI TRAVEL page][All info from the brochure][All photos by MKL, 2012]