Founded in 1952, the current temple building was built in 1961 Heng Hwa clansmen from ‘Tian Tou’ and ‘Hou Dong’ villages in Putian. These 2 villages are also in close proximity to the ‘Hou Guo’ village (Sian Gong Tong temple just within 5 minutes walk from this temple belongs to the Hou Guo village). The interesting features of this temple include the rather unique wall scultpures of ‘Dua Ya Bei’ & ‘Li Ya Bei’ near the entrances. Normally, we would find the stucco work of a tiger and dragon on the same walls. The dragons on the roof ridge are also spectacular and rare in Singapore as this is indeed the same type of decorations you would find in temples in Heng Hwa. Within the temple you will find beautifully painted life-size murals of the eight spirit constables, another Heng Hwa feature. The 2 main dieties of this temple is Tian Gong Yuan Shuai and Fa Zhu Gong. Tian Gong Yuan Shuai is a patron diety for all southern Chinese ‘Li Yuan’ opera while Fa Zhu Gong is a important diety for tangkis. In Singapore, all Chinese opera and puppet troupes pay respects to Tian Gong Yuan Shuai before any performances. Raymond, Margaret and I had a tough time trying to ascertain is the central diety was indeed the ‘opera diety’. However, as usual, Raymond ingeniously took a closeup shot and excitedly zoomed up the mouth area. There was indeed a crap symbol painted around the mouth! Although the central diety of this temple is Tian Gong Yuan Shuai, it is probably more well known in the Heng Hwa community for Fa Zhu Gong. One temple spokesman used a rather amusing analogy, ” Tian Gong is like the president while Zhang Gong is the prime minister’. Mr Tong also added that there is a close bond between Heng Hwa and Teochew by citing 2 examples. Li Ka Shing’s Teochew hometown is within the vicinity of Heng Hwa province and the opera ‘Chen San Wu Niang’ is only performed by Heng Hwa and Teochew opera troupes. Chen San is from Heng Hwa while Wu Niang is from Teochew. To see black and white photos of the temple in its kampong days, go to the left chamber room.
Festivals in 2007:
2 March 2007 – Heng Hwa puppet performance 1 – 4pm
Contact: Mr Tong 62947112