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Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城

Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城.

aka Ban Kah Lan / 萬腳蘭, Temple of the Azure Cloud / Qing Yuan Yan / 清雲岩, Qing Long Miao / 青龍廟

Location:- Bayan Lepas, Penang / 峇六拜, 檳城.

A very popular tourist destination, it’s has a beautiful Pai Lou / 牌樓 with steps heading up to the temples courtyard. Also known as the Temple of the Azure Cloud, this temple is famous for the mysterious appearance of snakes in this temple. In other words, the snakes has made this place a sanctuary. It has a snake farm by the side where visitors could learn and understand on how we could co-exists peacefully with these reptiles.

With keen eyes, you would be able to spot these reptiles on the move or resting on tree branches around this temple. Over the years, the snake population here has dwindled due to urbanization of its surroundings. With a main road in front and building around, snake would definitely have a problem wiggling their way here.

Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城1

It’s facade is beautifully design with murals of dragon and tiger flanking the main door.This place has been through multiple refurbishing as it was once an attap house surrounded by greens. This is also one of the five temples maintain by the Penang Hokkien Kongsi. Antiques belonging to the Hokkien Kongsi is also placed on display by a side hall next to this temple.

Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城2

Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城3Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城4

Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城5

It’s main prayer hall houses three altar, the altar to the left is dedicated to the worship of Yan Lou Wang / King Yama / 閻羅王 aka Yan Luo Tian Zi / 閻羅天子 whom is flanked by Niu Tou Ma Mian / 牛头馬面, the center altar is dedicated to its main patron deity Qing Shui Zu Shi / 清水祖師, also known as Chor Soo Kong / Zu Shi Gong / 祖師公. Two bamboo stand is placed in front of this altar where pit vipers would be resting upon. Uniquely, they seem very unbothered by visitors and would just curl on it.

An altar to left is dedicated to Zhu Sheng Niang Niang / 注生娘娘, a famous deity whom is known to grant fertility to its believers. While cabinets fill with multiple deities are displayed by the side. A 600 pound bronze bell made back in 1886 is also hang in this main prayer hall. Till today, this bell is still rung on the 1st and 15th of every lunar month. A side hall next to the main prayer hall is dedicated to the worship of Fu De Zheng Shen / 福德正神 aka Da Bo Gong / 大伯公.

Walking through it landscaped garden, a pavilion located behind this temple houses an altar dedicated to the worship of Guan Yin Pu Sa / 觀音菩薩.

Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城6

Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城7Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城8

Due to lack of information, the exact date of its existence is unknown but the artifact and antique in the temple suggested it should be around the mid 19 century.

Anyway a brief history of this temple goes something like this. During the early 19th century, a monk from china brought along this deity known as Chor Soo Kong to this island of Malaya. He build a temple dedicated to its worship at the same time healing sickness and granting favors to its devotees. As news spreads, a scottish pioneer nutmeg planter mr. David Brown from Gelugor Estate visited this temple to seek advise on his long ailing sickness. So when the deity help cured him, he donated a tract of land for a temple in gratitude of the deities help. Along with the help from public donation this temple was build.

According to legend, snakes mysteriously appear upon the completion of this temple and even more so during the annual celebration of Chor Soo kong.

Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城9

Location Map / 神廟地圖

Click here to open location in GOOGLE MAP / 點擊這裡打開谷歌地圖

My Time – – A web blog cataloging chinese temples in malaysia / 記錄馬來西亞廟宇文化.

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1 comment to Fu Xing Gong Snake temple-Penang / 福興宮蛇廟-檳城

  • avatar Philip Tan

    When researching the ancestries of for both my Chen/Tan (陳) surname and those for some other surnames, it dawn upon me that many deities that are worship in temples are actual people in Chinese history and some in fact are our actual ancestors. That Fu Xing Gong Snake Temple-Penang (福興宮蛇廟-檳城) is internationally noted and among must-see tourist place to visit in Penang is without doubt and I had visited the place several times since my first started work at Prai in 1969. What is not known to me, and perhaps to numerous other visitors as well, is who the deities are within this illustrious temple.

    I first started to trace my ancestry when I was given my ancestral village ancestral record jiapu (家譜) entitled “永春小岵南山陳氏 優道公長房雍睦宗志” in 2007. When constructing my pedigree chart from information contained therein so as to give me and my children a better comprehension of our ancestry, it dawn upon me that the deity Qing Shui Zu Shi (清水祖師) in the temple half way up to Genting Highland is part of my family tree from my ancestral place Xiaohu (小岵), Yong Chun County (永春縣), Fujian Province (福建省). Xiaohu (小岵) is now known as Hushan (岵山). Qing Shui Zu Shi (清水祖師) is the cousin of my 22nd great grandfather or the nephew of my 23rd great grandfather. There are many from Xiaohu Tan (小岵陳) who settled in Malaysia. The pedigree chart I had construction can be see at the webpage below:

    Subsequently I came across somewhere stating that Fu Xing Gong Snake Temple-Penang is also dedicated to Qing Shui Zu Shi (清水祖師). In trying to verifying this point is what brought me to this webpage. What is stated herein is that the central altar is dedicated to the main patron deity Qing Shui Zu Shi (清水祖師).

    Family has always been of supreme importance in Chinese culture. As such hand written genealogical records of individual families and clans were produced painstakingly, methodically, and periodically updated, to keep track of their origins and subsequent development. These were preserved and handed down from one generation to another. It is possible for many Chinese families, including those who have migrated overseas, wherever they might be, to trace not only their roots but also over much further back in time than any others.

    When we were young, some of us could have heard our elders reprimanding us that “this boy is ‘without record'”. In the southern Hockien (Minnan 閩南) dialect they would say “你這個人很無譜” (“you are a person “without record”). When we study our jiapu, we would begin to understand the importance of jiapu to the family. We may then understand what that reprimand was all about; the connotation of 無譜. What the elders meant was that we were very bad and did not talk rationally. When people refers you to be “無譜” it meant that you are one without family history, that you are not educated and that you lack a proper family upbringing or ill bred.

    If the jiapu of your ancestry is put in front of you, it is likely that you would want to have a look; to look at your grandfather, to look at your parents. Everyone would naturally have that instinct and desire. The records for many jiapus are likely to terminate a few generations when a member migrated overseas. The first couple of generations, some might submit the births for updating into the jiapu. However, many could be too preoccupied to eke out a living, to be bothered to maintain such cultural habit. For those who do even now, future generations might not. Therefore there would be a break in the jiapu recording for that branch. Even those who continued initially, to maintain their family, might not continue to do so by subsequent generations. Often these records could subsequently be thrown away, either through moving between houses, or due to the lack of appreciation of its importance. The rapid urbanization, the economic progress and the pressure placed upon our society, could result in the erosion of this traditional cultural heritages. It is significant that we continue maintaining family record, so that our lineages that have been kept for so long are not lost.

    On a voluntary basis, I have been assisting others in going about in trying to trace their Chinese ancestry. This is mainly done through the Chinese Genealogy website below but hosted in US where I was appointed as one of the moderators:

    This website could be an excellent place to host a section on Chinese genealogy, here in Malaysia, dedicated to those versed only in English who wish to go about finding their Chinese ancestry and ancestral records. If The Administrator of this website is willing to start a section for this aspect of Chinese genealogy, I am willing to provide the necessary guidance for those coming to this website seeking assistance.

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