My (faint) memories of the Kampung China temple consist of 3D dragons, big crowds. smell of incense , watching my grandmother praying while throwing and re-throwing two kidney shaped thingies on the floor.
Mention temples in Kelantan, and you will probably be swamped with images of the many many colourful Thai/ Buddhist temples along the roadsides and in the kampungs. When I googled for Chinese temples in Kota Baru, the search resulted in tours to the Buddhist temples. Frankly, I am ( still) not sure of the name of this temple, we refer to the temple as the 唐 人坡 廟 meaning the temple of kampong china , and from my net search and matching the photos, this seemed to be = Tokong Mek, and when I try to confirm with family members and friends, no one seemed sure..hmmm…can anyone help ?
The temple is located close by to the shore of the Kelantan river, you can actually see the river from the outside of the temple grounds and vice versa. At the time of visit the temple was under some renovation- this could be part of the Jabatan Warisan Negara restoration projects for 2007 ? click here
Stepping into the hall, there will be pillars with entwining dragons and the big incense holder.
The main deity of the temple is the Ma Tzu 妈祖 , the goddess who is associated with the sea
Flank on the right by Kuan Yin
And on the left General Zhou ( mum is not sure about General Zhou). Anyone can help with the info ?
Incense ‘station’ at the side of the main shrine hall
Price list of the New Year large incense which will be lighted on the 1st, 9th or 15th day ( 4 ft incense RM15/ piece, 6 ft – RM60, 8 ft -RM120 ..12ft – RM220). We paid for two 6 ft incense to be lighted on the 1st and 15th day, and I was given the honour of writing new year wishes on a red piece of paper which will be stuck on the incense, I hope the gods can read my ugly scribble.
I remember my elderly neighbour Ah Chim ( elderly auntie) who used to visit the temple a few days before Chinese new year and bid to bring the ‘gold turtle’ home, the bidding goes like this. You would have to pray to the gods and the gods give their consent via the 2 kidney shaped wooden thingies. Each kidney has a rounded surface and a flat back . what you want to achieve in a throw- when the kidneys hit the ground – one kidney is facing up, then the other should be facing down. And you will have to get 3 consecutive up/down for it to ‘count’ as a ‘yes’ / ‘success’ . There is a ‘ minimal value’ for each throw, example RM5/ throw , so you can imagine it can be a rather large sum if the kidneys refuse to cooperate , and some might not even be successful, but AhChim being a good and pious person always managed to bring the turtle home every year.
I have always been in awe of these dragons, they look like they are ready to pop out of the wall
This big drum is a gift from the Sultan ( Sultan Mohammad the 2nd) in 1879, which makes it pretty ancient , I guess.
Mum didn’t know much about the history of the temple , although she mentioned there used to be a Kapitan who stays around Kampung China.
Click here to view an interesting blog with nice pictures about Kelantan