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Seremban Centipede Temple (Then Sze Khoon 天師宫 )

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Seremban Centipede TempleSeremban Centipede Temple (6 July, 2016)


 Timothy Tye

Seremban Centipede Temple (GPS: 2.74598, 101.94149; Then Sze Khoon; Traditional Chinese: 天師宫; Simplified Chinese: 天师宫; Pinyin: Tiān Shī Gōng ) is a major Chinese temple in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. It is perched on a hill called Bukit Jong, known in Chinese as Wúgōng Shān (蜈蚣山 ), literally "centipede hill", off Jalan Temiang, in the Temiang suburb of Seremban.

The Centipede Temple is said to have been established in 1864 by a Taoist priest, Zhong San Koon. It has expanded over successive phases, particularly in the last few decades. As with many Chinese temple, to pigeon hole it as a "Taoist" temple might not be entirely correct, nor is it strictly a "Buddhist" temple. It is very much an eclectic fusion of various mainstream Chinese religions as well as folk beliefs, so the umbrella term of "Chinese temple" may be more appropriate. One of the important keepsakes of the temple is a bell dating back to 1863. It is believed to be a gift of a devotee.

Today, the Centipede Temple has grown into a sprawling temple complex that engulfs the hill, and includes pagodas, viewing platforms, wishing pond, and what can be described as a Chinese folk religion theme park, in addition to the temple proper. Then Sze Khoon is nicknamed Centipede Temple, after the giant centipede statue on a boulder, which itself carries a legend of its own.

According to the legend, once upon a time, there was an old widow who had a son. They were struggling to make a living, so the son decided to go away to seek greener pastures. He left his village to become a seafarer, and was gone for many, many years, leaving his mother to pine for his return. After a long time had passed, the young man returned to his village a successful merchant. But he refused to acknowledge the old widow as his mother. This caused him to incur the wrath fo the gods, and for his lack of compassion and filial piety, they turned him into a rock. His mother too was transformed into a centipede that guarded the rock. This very rock is still standing in the temple grounds today. To mark the spot, a giant sculpture of a centipede was erected onto it.

The feast day of Centipede Temple, which marks the anniversary of its founding, is on the 26th day of the third lunar month. This is an annual event bringing together thousands of devotees to the temple, where special rites and prayers are conducted.

Address

Seremban Centipede Temple
Jalan Temiang,
70200 Seremban.

Going to the Seremban Centipede Temple

The Seremban Centipede Temple is about 3.5km from Jalan Tuanku Antah in downtown Seremban. See map below for the location. There are two places to park your car, one on the south side of Bukit Jong, and the other on the north side, near the Sri Palanimalai Murugan Temple.

Updates on the Centipede Temple

22 January, 2018 The Star reported that statues and the 19th century bell were destroyed in a blaze that is believed to be an arson. According to the temple, their CCTV showed a man loitering in the premises before the fire broke out.

Seremban Centipede Temple is on the map of Seremban


 Timothy Tye

Seremban Centipede TempleA shrine to Tua Pek Kong at the Seremban Centipede Temple. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleSculpture of a toad, painted brass, with a coin in its mouth, no doubt believed to bring good luck to those touching it. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleFront view of the brass toad with the coin in its mouth. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleA three-tier Chinese pavilion, in the form of a pagoda. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleAnother view of the three-tier Chinese pavilion. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleEntrance to the prayer hall of Then Sze Khoon. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleJoss sticks burning in Then Sze Khoon Temple. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleVarious deities are venerated in the temple. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleThe porch in the main temple building. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleThe main altar in Then Sze Khoon Temple. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleA side altar at Then Sze Khoon Temple. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleStatue of the Goddess of Mercy over a wishing pond. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleCarps in the wishing pond. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleThe Centipede Rock, with steps leading to the forested mythological park. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TemplePavilion at viewpoint, with scenic views of Seremban. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleView of Seremban from the viewpoint. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleTortoise enclosure at Then Sze Khoon. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleThe tortoises of Then Sze Khoon. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleStatues of various Chinese folk and mythological personalities in the forested park. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TempleAn assembly of legendary heroes. (6 July, 2016)


Seremban Centipede TemplePavilion for the veneration of Guan Yu at the viewpoint. (6 July, 2016)

Seremban Centipede Temple on Google Maps Street View

Foot of path going up to the Seremban Centipede Temple (Jan 2014)

List of the 5 Top Attractions of Seremban; list of Chinese temples in Seremban and Chinese temples in Negeri Sembilan

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