Sunday, February 07, 2010

Lu-ju Wu-fu Temple

Nan-kan Shieh of the Pinbu indigenous tribe used to reside in the area near Fu-tou Mountain, Wu-fu Village, Lu-ju Shiang. This area was the earliest settled area in Taoyuan County. According to legend, when Koxinga led his army to fight in northern Taiwan in the 16th year of Emperor Yung-li's reign (1661), his army was stationed here. His soldiers brought holy relics of Marshall Shien-tan with them, but forgot them in the camp. Then people discovered light emanating from this place. They believed it indicated the presence of a god, so they built a simple structure on the spot and worshiped there. Over time, more and more pilgrims came to pay their respects.

Lu-ju Wu-fu TempleThis temple wasn't built until the 10th year of Emperor Chien-lung. The temple was first named Shien-tan Temple or Marshall Temple. Marshall Shien-tan refers to Gon-ming Chao, a loyal vassal during the Shang Dynasty. People respected him and called him Marshall Shien-tan Marshall. This area was prosperous owing to the god's blessing, so people called him Marshall Kai-tai (literally translated as Development of Taiwan).

This temple underwent renovations several times and became larger and larger each time. After reconstruction in the 6th year of Emperor Tung-chi Emperor (1867), this temple was named Wu-fu (literally translated as Five Fortunes) Temple. Sen-ji Pavilion was erected at the same time to promote literacy. This temple was last renovated in 1924. Now the temple is 3-rooms wide at the front and has three main buildings and two patios. Its wooden construction, woodcarvings, stone carvings, and Indochina pottery are marvelous. You may like to study it thoroughly. This temple has a long history and is classified as a grade three ancient site. It is now being repaired. It will be opened again in the near future.

Lu-ju Wu-fu TempleThe Sen-ji Pavilion in front of the temple is a 2-story building made of bricks. The opening of the furnace is on the bottom level. On both sides of the building are the stone tablets bearing the donors' names. There is a "Messenger's Cave" in the back hall. There are a lot of big snakes in the cave known as "heavenly snakes". People feed the snakes with eggs. The temple sponsors a parade on March 15 and birthday celebration for the master god on the 16th. These celebrations are fabulous activities for the temple. The temple also sponsors evidence ghost-month celebration on July 15, and floating lantern on the 14th, to be hosted by five major villages of Lu-ju Shiang. The activities are fabulous. Visitors are welcome to join the celebrations.

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