Located on Harmony Street in Malacca is a historical chinese temple called the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple which literally means ‘Temple of the Green Clouds’ in chinese. This temple has withstood the test of time for almost 400 years… making it the oldest traditional chinese temple in Malaysia.
Actually… Harmony Street is made out of three different streets ie Jalan Tokong (where Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is located), Jalan Tukang Emas and Jalan Tukang Besi. It is called Harmony Street due to the harmonious presence of three different religious houses within close proximity of each other. The other two religious houses are the Kampung Kling Mosque and Sri Poyyatha Vinayar Moorthi Temple.
According to their history, this Cheng Hoon Teng Temple was built in the early 1600s by Kapitan Tay Hong Yong and Kapitan Li Koon Chang. The Kapitan position was created by the Dutch during their time here in Malacca to be the head administrator to the local community. During the British era, in 1824 the Kapitans system were abolished and replaced by ‘Teng Choos’ – the new title given by the British to the leader of the temple. Today, the temple is under the care of a board of trustee which was formed in 1949.
In 2003, the Cheng Hoon Temple was awarded a UNESCO award for its outstanding architectural restoration.
The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is consist of several prayer halls, with a large main prayer hall in the center. We could see the unique architecture from its curved roof ridge, chien nien decoration and gable design… all showing the architectural style and craftsmanship of Southern China.
Another interesting fact about the temple is the walls of the temple are all painted with limewash. Apparently, in the olden days limewash was used instead of cement.
Definitely a historical must place to visit in Malacca.
For more information visit www.chenghoontengtemple.com