– JULY 12, 2015
The Perak Cave Temnple is one of the most famous and frequently visited cave temples in and around Ipoh (there are more than 30 cave temples in this area). There is an information plaque outside the temple which provides some background:
“In 1926 Chong Sen Yee and his wife Choong Chan Yoke who came from Jiao-Ling province of China, discovered Perak Tong“.
On approval from the Perak State government, they started to develop the cave temple. As Ching Sen Yee was mainly involved in the planning and development of the cave temple, his wife went all out to seek donations on both a local and international level to carry out the plan.
After 50 years of work on the cave, Perak Tong has now become one of the best cave temples in Malaysia.
After passing through the entrance the limestone cave opens up into a giant space with a high dome branching off into hidden recesses and grottoes. A golden sitting Buddha statue, 40 feet tall, dominates the temple. He is flanked by four guardian deities which were described as goddesses. The walls of the cavern are decorated with colourful murals depicting characters and events from Chinese mythology and Buddhist scriptures.
Chinese calligraphy adorn the walls.
There are numerous statues and carvings scattered around the temple, including a female with 18 arms (Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy). The strong aroma of incense mixed with the earthy cave odor lends the cave a special atmosphere.
Behind the main altar is a flight of steps which make their way into the far recesses of the cave and out through an opening on the side of the hill. The steps continue to wind their way up the hillside passing by gazebos and pavilions where people rest and enjoy the views of the surrounding area. The steps are not that many, but the high humidity makes each step a pull on your heart.
One more limestone temple to visit and a local fruit garden vendor to wrap up Ipoh.
For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.