Kuan Ti Temple is a 121 year-old Taoist temple located along Jalan Tun HS Lee. An easily recognisable building with a bright orange façade, it is dedicated to Guandi, the Taoist God of War and Literature; there is a red-faced, long beard statue of Guandi at the rear of the temple.
Also known as Guan Di Temple, on the altar in front of the statue of Guandi (also called Guan Gong or Guan Yu) is guan dao and guan jie – a famous sword and spear. Deified in the Sui Dynasty (580-618 AD), devotees believe that Guandi’s weapons have special powers and that they will be blessed by ‘touching’ or ‘lifting’ the 59kg copper guan dao three times.
Design of Kuan Ti Temple
Also known as the Kwong Siew Free School, two stone Chinese lions (used as protective symbols to ward off negative energy) on pedestals guard the entrance of the temple. They form a happy, protective ‘family’ that guards the temple: the male (with a ball) is on the left side of the door, inside looking out, and the female is on the right with a baby Chinese lion.
Behind the two lions are the Door Gods (Men Shen) and two smaller Chinese lions; even the roof is a sight to see with beautiful carvings of dragons and chi lins.
Interior of Kuan Ti Temple
Inside the temple is a counter where joss sticks and incense are sold. Colourful dragons are coiled around the two main pillars in the interior of the temple. By the side of the main Guandi statue at the altar are his two attendants: Guanping (who carries a seal) and Zhoucang (his standard bearer); the three statues are wooden but as a sign of his elevated status, Guan Di’s face is painted gold.
Interesting fact: in China, Guan Di, the patron saint of the martial arts, is extremely popular with the police and triads and both pray to him for divine protection.
Kuan Ti Temple
- Opening Hours: Daily, 07:00 – 19:00 (opening hours may vary, so please check with the temple keeper)
- Location: Right across the street from Popular Bookstore, and just opposite Sri Mahamariamman Temple.
- Address: Along Jalan Tun H. S. Lee