11/07/2010

Righteous Temple in Monga, Taiwan



A picture of Righteous (集義) Temple in Monga, Taiwan

I live in Monga, one of the three oldest neighborhoods in Taipei. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that we have many places of historical note in our midst. Having said that, I should point out that we really don't have much in the way of classical architecture. Until the 1990s, there was no emphasis on historical or heritage preservation in Taiwan. It was all development, with lots of speculation sprinkled on top. Thus a lot of Monga's, and Taiwan's for that matter, most precious streets and buildings were scraped off the landscape. I will say this though: there is no shortage of old and beautiful temples in Monga. Off the top of my head, I count half a dozen within walking distance of my home, like the Righteous Temple (pictured above), which my daughter and I pass almost every night on our way home from school and work respectively. Righteous Temple was built 110 years ago. 

Inside Righteous Temple, you'll find the statues of three Tao figures, the righteous men from which the temple draws its name: Messrs. 朱, 池 and 李, who lived during the Tang Dynasty (607-917) in China. According to my wife, our daughter likes to "make wishes" at the alter when she and my mother-in-law go by, something she doesn't do when she's with me. I don't really have a problem with this though. I do think it's an interesting way to describe praying. I'm pretty sure that Grandma is behind the "wishing," as she's tried to make me do it a time or two (which I don't as it makes me feel self-conscious). Nevertheless, if my daughter wants to "wish," I'm cool with it -- that is, if she enjoys doing so. My daughter can make up her mind own about religion, whether that happens to be now, 10 years from now or whenever. 

I'm afraid I digress: If you want to visit Righteous Temple, take the MRT to Longshan Temple. Leave the station from Exit Two. Go straight, passing the fire and police stations, for about a block. You'll see it at the first intersection. 

1 comment:

Muriel said...

Quite useful info, much thanks for the post.