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  • Writer's picturePrakhar Maheshwari

Chinese Temple upon a Hill - Genting's Chin Swee Temple

Temples have this excellent advantage of being in some of the most breathtaking natural places in the world, which modern human endeavours can never surpass. After all, it was the minds of the erstwhile generations that the place of worship should always be in the nature, as Nature is God and God is Nature.

Welcome to the Chin Swee Temple, Genting Highlands, Malaysia!

Having moved to Kuala Lumpur in March, I was just waiting to get a chance to go the Genting Highlands, a place which I visited with my family back in 2005 (that's almost 20 years!). Though the memories remained intact, I couldn't recall any significant change that happened post then. I often told my wife, who was fed up with the KL heat in March, to just wait for a trip to Genting! And there it was!

A friend accompanied us on the trip and we started from KL. Genting Highlands is about 60-70 kms from KL and it is very easy to reach by bus or cab. We took a cab and reached in no time. The start of the mountains often makes you remember the beautiful hill stations of India, however, the only difference was that the crowd in Malaysia was way less, which made the journey more exciting and hassle free.

The best and perhaps the most took route for the top of the hill is the cable car. And that's what we did as well, being the residential tourists! Regardless of cable car places, it is beautiful everywhere and everytime.

Before reaching the summit, where we have the indoor and outdoor extravaganza of theme parks (I will cover that in a separate post), the cable car drops you in between, and after many escalators down, we get to see the amazing Chin Swee Chinese Temple.

The first impression of this place was - It's huge! It is difficult to imagine a broad plain area amidst a hill. The sight immediately takes you back to the ancient times in a Chinese or Japanese era. The red colour hut shaped temples make you click instantly. The colourful sight surrounded by hills and moving clouds makes this entire journey worth.

The above is not the actual temple though where devotees worship. Beneath the floor, there is the main giant hall where Buddha devotees offer their prayers. The hall boasts of proud red colours signifying the Chinese origin. Roam around and observe people worshipping in their unique styles, which resemble close to Hinduism.

Chinese Temples in SE Asia have big incense sticks which profounds the experience of devotion. Even for viewers, it is a great sight to behold.

The temple premises has one more unique thing - The punishments that one gets after life based on one's karma or deeds. These are 7 different types of punishments for every crime or untoward deed committed - robbery, murder, infidelity, rape, cheating, forgery, etc. It was surprising to see that this is told in Buddhism in such a frightening manner, as we normally see Buddhism as extremely peaceful that doesn't even utter anything related to wrong doings. In fact the fear of the punishments probably instills the feeling of doing good deeds to fellow humans and the world. Maybe this will give you more depth of what I was talking about:

Scary, right? Or probably the music made it even more!

This video tries to show the overall Temple visit in less than a minute.

Isn't it beautiful? Don't you feel like taking a short break and soak yourself in Chinese worship?

A trip to Genting Highlands is always in the itinerary for Malaysia tourists and this temple is commonly known to travellers. However, seeing in the photos versus experiencing in reality has a big difference! So pack your bags and feel it!

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