Two temples in Johor – a Taoist and a Buddhist temple – are proving to be a big draw for tourists and worshippers alike.
The hillside Black Dragon Cave Temple by the river in Yong Peng, Batu Pahat, is one of the largest and most resplendent Taoist temples in Johor.
The 30-year-old temple at Jalan Ah Looh is popular with worshippers from Johor, Singapore and the Klang Valley.
The temple started as a small shrine where prayers were dedicated to peace and harmony. Several years later, the temple with its majestic look moved to its current site.
“The temple is recognised by the state government as a tourism attraction in Yong Peng,” temple secretary Eng Chai Liong told allMalaysia.info.
It is built in a three-sectional shaped design with stone sculptures on the walls while stone dragons on the left and right pillars symbolise protection for the main hall housing deities and goddesses.
Eng said the temple committee would invite artisans and craftsmen from time to time to build sculptures, decorations and other facilities.
He added that among the other features in the pipeline were a wading pool for children, 24 fortune rooms, 11 washrooms and parking bays.
Meanwhile, Fa Yi Buddhist Temple on a 1.21ha hilltop in Sungai Tiram, Johor Baru houses more than 1,000 Buddha statues and carved tombs dating some 1,500 years.
Many of the statues were brought from Sri Lanka, China and some are said to be from the Tang Dynasty.
Upon entering the temple, worshippers will be greeted by pillars depicting Buddha’s life as well as different statues that stand more than six feet tall amidst shady trees.
The temple also has a huge stone statue of a tortoise and visitors believe it brings them luck and fortune if they touch it.
“The temple was built in 2001 and completed six years later due to insufficient funds,” said temple caretaker Tan Yee Ping.
She said the temple was well known among worshippers from other states too.
There is also a separate building near the temple’s carpark where worshippers can see statues of the 500 luohans (spiritual practitioners) who were commanded by Buddha to anticipate the coming of Maitreya Buddha (the future Buddha). – By CHRISTINA TAN and YEE XIANG YUNG