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Thean Seng Keong Temple 天生宫



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Thean Seng Keong TempleThean Seng Keong Temple (10 July, 2015)



Thean Seng Keong Temple 天生宫 (GPS: 5.40751, 100.33179) is a Chinese temple along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway. It faces the expressway to the east, between Macallum Street Ghaut and Cecil Street Ghaut.

360° View of Thean Seng Keong Temple on Google Maps Street View



The original Thean Seng Keong Temple was built in 1952. Registered in 1992 as Pertubuhan Penganut Thean Seng Keong, it began as a small shrine that was expanded over time. As with many of the early temples in George Town, it was a mere ang3kong3keng1 or Taoist shrine. In 2013, it embarked on an expansion. During this time, the temple was relocated into a temporary shed of plain aluminium plates and painted maroon.

Construction of the new Thean Seng Keong Temple began on 9 December, 2012. It faces the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and is a lot bigger and grander then the old temple. It has a huge entrance arch in front of the temple foyer. The arch is supported by four granite columns which stand on square pedestals. Topping the arch are curved roof ridges that repeat on the temple proper. Behind the arch is a small court with steps leading up to the front of the temple, on either sides of a granite dragon slab. Immediately behind this is the granite incense burner.

Thean Seng Keong TempleThean Seng Keong Temple (10 July, 2015)


The main porch of Thean Seng Keong is ornately embellished, with coloured and gilded relief work. Holding up the porch is a pair of granite dragon columns. These stand on rounded column base. On the roof ridge of the front porch is a pair of dragons in the Two Dragons Facing the Pagoda motif.

Thean Seng Keong TempleThean Seng Keong Temple (10 July, 2015)


Construction of the new Thean Seng Keong Temple offers insights into how traditional temple architecture has been fused with the latest construction technology and ornamentation. Almost every surface of the temple is ornately embellished with various forms of ornamentation ranging from stucco to broken porcelain or chien3nien2.

Thean Seng Keong TempleThe ridge dragon ornamentation at Thean Seng Keong Temple (10 July, 2015)


The ridges on the roof of Thean Seng Keong Temple are decorated with colourful dragons. Sitting on the central ridge of the prayer hall are two ornamental dragons, in the motif of Two Dragons Facing the Flaming Orb. They are exquisitely created of porcelain shards in the chien3nien2 method. Immediately below the central flaming orb, this motif is repeated with a second Two Dragons Facing the Flaming Orb motif.

Thean Seng Keong TempleTwo Dragons Facing the Flaming Orb ornamentation, Thean Seng Keong Temple (10 July, 2015)


Thean Seng Keong TempleThean Seng Keong Temple (10 July, 2015)


The level of intricacy in the ornamentation of Thean Seng Keong can be described as breathtaking. As your eyes explore the ridges and gables, you can make out minute figurines, some on horseback, and the wedge warfare based on legendary tales. These play out to a backdrop of miniature pagodas and shrines.

The gable of the Main Hall of Thean Seng Keong is ornamented with bats, clouds and the face of a mythical beast, similar to the makara embellishing ancient Khmer monuments.

Thean Seng Keong TempleThean Seng Keong Temple (10 July, 2015)


Thean Seng Keong TempleSide view of Thean Seng Keong Temple, with finishing touches in progress (10 July, 2015)


Getting there

The nearest bus stop is along Macallum Street Ghaut. It is served by Rapid Penang bus 303. From the bus stop, walk towards Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway. Cross the expressway then turn left, walk a short distance and you will arrive at the temple (presently under construction) on your right.

Location of Thean Seng Keong Temple on the map

Construction of Thean Seng Keong Temple

The new Thean Seng Keong Temple has been under construction since 2013. The new Thean Seng Keong Temple building, which would be bigger and grander than the previous structure, required the temple committee to hold fundraising campaigns to collect donation for its construction.

Thean Seng Keong Temple under constructionThean Seng Keong Temple under construction (1 June, 2013)

The Thean Seng Keong temporary shrine

While awaiting the completion of the new Thean Seng Keong Temple, a temporary shrine was erected at the side of the present temple to house the deities. This temporary structure is of alluminium sheets painted maroon.

The old Thean Seng Keong templeThe old Thean Seng Keong temple (1 June, 2013)

List of Chinese Temples in Penang and Chinese Temples in Malaysia



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