Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chan She Shu Yuen Temple - The Green Temple of KL's Maharajalella

Another treasure in the Maharajalella area of Kuala Lumpur is the lavishly decorated Chan She Shu Yuen Temple just across Guan Yin Temple. This temple is a Clan House and is considered the city's most impressive. It's easy to see why. In fact, you somehow expect an on-going festivity once you're inside this temple: beautiful red lanterns hang down the courtyard; a tapestry of intricately carved Chinese legendary characters and goddesses adorn the light green walls; the welcome door is punctuated by gilded wooden carvings with deliciously flashy stained glass; even the ceilings are strategically designed to showcase the temple. It's easy to get camera-crazy in this picture-perfect temple. In fact, even the contour of the roof looks like green sinewy creatures.


This Assembly Hall, like most clan houses, reminds me of the assembly halls in Hue (Vietnam). It was constructed in 1906 with the immediate goal of welcoming newly arrived immigrants from China, specifically those belonging to the Chan, Chen and Tan clan. The front wall is tiled with green bricks thus its informal name - the Green Temple. This festive temple is a worthy itinerary in any KL trip. Who would believe that after all my visits in KL, I've never discovered this temple until now... and I didn't even need a guide to point me here. It only took me a monorail ride and a fast glimpse for the inspiration.

This Green Temple, like Guan Yin Temple, is an easy walk from Chinatown and Petaling Street - or a ride via the monorail. Visit is free of charge and it's open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM.


There was a moment of annoyance during this visit. When I went back to the Maharajalella Station, I purchased my monorail ticket going to KL Sentral (I was trying to find another temple in that area). There was a girl manning the ticket counter. I was the only customer in the station so it was a wonder why this lazy personnel - who was doing absolutely nothing - wouldn't sell me a ticket. She pointed me to the ticket machine. Though I don't really mind this, I did huff at the discrepancy in the ticket price! Two train stops only cost me 1.60 ringgit by purchasing my ticket from the ticket counter - but for some reason, the ticket rate from the ticket machine fetches a baffling 3.60 ringgit! That is 2 ringgit more expensive! Now why should I pay more than necessary? Because this lazy girl doesn't want to do her darn job! Though this amount is really pittance, it annoys me that I had to pay more than I needed to just because someone refuses to do her job! I just hope the concerned authorities take note of this!

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Green bricks on the entrance walls.

Intricately carved Chinese characters adorn the wall.


Red lanterns hang at the courtyard.

Elevator stair at the Maharajalella Station.

There's one lady at the ticket counter who refuses to sell tickets. She just sits there staring at the glass. She refers customers (there's hardly any) to the ticket machine because she's busy yawning.

Ticket machine has more expensive rate than over-the-counter tickets. This discrepancy of 2 ringgit baffles.


R.Ramakrishnan said...

Lovely and colorful post. The red hanging lanterns are beautiful and the large brass(or bronze) container with intricate designs is exquisite !

eye in the sky said...


The place is beautiful. I don't think I was able to fully capture the essence of the temple, but I appreciate how well maintained it is. :)

Ola said...

I can only add that this is very exotic and amazing to me, I like all the sculptures in particular!
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eye in the sky said...

@ Ola:

Love the small sculptures too. And the place is very colorful.

ibrahim idayu said...

beautiful place and shots...
i love the sculpture at the wall..
but, do you know the meaning of each sculpture, the character, or the story that being play/carved at the wall?
thanks for sharing...

eye in the sky said...

I wish I know the stories behind the carvings, Ibrahim. They look like an interesting collection of stories beautifully conceptualized and carved. :)