Kek Look Tong was
one of the last places we ever visited in Ipoh and was also one of the most
stunning. We had heard about this
beautiful cave temple from a number of friends but had put of visiting it for
|The entrance to the Temple|
Finally, a few weeks
ago we decided to go and have a look for ourselves and we were not
disappointed. The temple had originally
been part of a mining operation with the natural cave mouth being widened to
allow the ore transport trucks to drive straight in to the middle of the
cave. Even during this time a part of
the cave was used for worship and when the mining operations came to an end it
was decided to develop the cave as a full scale temple. The cave was enlarged, the lower portions
lined with marble and the land to the rear of the cave filled in to create a
beautiful garden area.
|The Goddess looks over the carp pond|
|The Turtle and Tortoise Pond is relatively clean|
Arriving at the
temple it is clear that this complex receives many more visitors than the other
temples we have been to in Ipoh. There are
extensive car parks all of which have been beautifully landscaped. Before coming to the entrance of the cave we
took the time to look at the carp and turtle ponds which are situated to the
front of the complex.
|Exquisite miniature scenes line the stairway climbing to the entrance|
|Each one is unique.|
The steps up to the
main entrance of the cave are wide and shallow and decorated with many small
sculptures, most of which are works of art in their own right. In the entrance to the cave more miniatures
adorn the side walls.
|There are lots to choose from|
Walking further in
you come to two side chapels where much of the original geology of the cave has
been left untouched. Mr EE, a geographer
by profession and who has more than a passing interest in geology rather
enjoyed this section.
|The first section of the cave is vast|
Towards the rear of
the cave we found a selection of more than 10 Taoist and Buddhist statues, some
of them set on plinths that left them towering over the worshippers. Every single one of these bronze statues were
brought over from Taiwan.
|The rear of the cave contains the largest sculptures|
|They are huge and each one was brought over from Taiwan|
|While initially underwhelming a closer inspection shows meticulous attention to detail.|
Going through to the
other side we came to some steps leading down into the garden. This section of the temple grounds is nestled
into the hills and set around a large lake surrounded by a peaceful jogging
track. More statues line the track and,
those who are gluttons for punishment can enjoy what is touted as the ‘longest
reflexology path in Ipoh. While I enjoy
going to the reflexologist (it is one of the perks of living in Malaysia) I
have always found these paths a painful and deeply unpleasant experience rather
similar to hobbling along the stones on Brighton beach. The garden is also home to some rather aggressive geese and some very friendly monkeys.
|The rear of the cave gives access to some beautiful gardens|
|The lake is serene (but bring the mosquito repellent) and a beautiful place to jog|
|The geese seemed to be the only people 'enjoying' the reflexology path|
It was as we left
this temple that we received the call to confirm that we would be leaving Ipoh
and moving to a new posting in a new country in 2016. We were so pleased we were able to see it
before we left.
|Yet more miniatures can be found in the gardens|
While it is not my favourite
of all the Ipoh temples (that honour goes to the Enchanted Heart) it is
certainly an interesting an a beautiful place to visit and a place I would have
returned to time and again had we stayed in Ipoh.
My contribution to the monthly #TravelAtHome linky - click for some other interesting posts from bloggers showcasing their favourite places from all over the world.
For more posts on life in and things to see and do in Ipoh please click on the picture below
How beautiful! I love the juxtaposition of the gardens along the rock. Just seems like it shouldn't be that way, but works so perfectly. What a sight!ReplyDelete
THanks - you are so right there is something about the gardens. I think for me it is how they have made something so beautiful out of a former industrial site.Delete
Looks amazing! I find cave temples so wonderful and very special, I appreciate the work that goes into them so so much more than traditional temples for some reason!ReplyDelete
I know what you mean - they are truly spectacular.Delete
I can't believe you're off again. Where to this time and when in 2016? You mention that the cave used to be mined which implies the temple isn't very old. When does it date from?ReplyDelete
Mr EE goes out at the end of this week if his paperwork is in order (fingers crossed) and I hope we can follow soon.Delete
The cave was used for worship in the 1920s but used commercially from the 60s on (I think). Even during commercial use a part was set aside for worship. The current use of the cave dates from the 1980s.