Thian Hock Keng Temple 天福宮
158 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068613
Children : FreeAdult : Free
Telok Ayer MRT Station
One of the oldest and most important Hokkien temples in Singapore, Thian Hock Keng began as a humble joss house in 1821-22. It was erected in honour of Ma Zu Po 妈祖婆, the Protector of Sojourners, and Chinese immigrants would go there to offer thanks for a safe passage. Between 1839 to 1842, the joss house was rebuilt as Thian Hock Keng Temple by philanthropist Tan Tock Seng. The temple was built in traditional southern Chinese architectural style. The entire structure was assembled without nails. It is an architectural masterpiece of stone, tiles and wood, carvings of dragons and phoenixes, intricate sculptures and imposing columns. There is a plaque inscribed with the words Bo Jing Nan Ming (Gentle Waves over the South Seas) presented by Qing Dynasty Emperor Guang Xu in 1907, evidence of the temple’s stature.
It was in this new temple that the biggest Hokkien clan association - the Hokkien Huay Kuan wad founded. Devotees today continue to flock to the temple, asking for favours from the gods. Gazetted as a national monument in 1973, the temple underwent a massive 2.5 years restoration from 1998 to Dec 2000. The restored temple received 4 prestigious awards, namely: UNESCO's Honorable Mention, URA's Architectural Heritage Award, the Singapore Institute of Architects' Architectural Award and the ICI Design and Colour Award.