Jakarta - The Temple of Golden Virtue

As one of Indonesia’s most treasured historical heritage, Golden Virtue Temple has a history that started more than three centuries ago. In the beginning, the temple was built as a place to pay respect and worship Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara - Goddess of Mercy also more popularly known as Bodhisattva Kuan Yin) - and hence was named as Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara Temple. In 1970, a massacre of the ethnic Chinese community by the Dutch left thousands dead. A tragic incident that left much of the temple’s physical structure destroyed. It was in 1755 that a restoration effort - led by a Chinese Captain – was done to conserve the now ancient treasure and was later renamed as Golden Virtue Temple. Today, the temple has become a sacred place of worship for majority of Jakarta’s ethnic Chinese population. The intricate blend between faiths, cultural traditions and religions – Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism – gives the temple its own unique touch and identity.

Throughout the year, the temple welcomes a constant stream of patrons and visitors. Monthly, on the 1st and 15th of the Lunar Calendar, thousands of worshipers would flock the temple. Annually, the number of visitors sees its peak during the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Worshipers come here for a few reasons – to give thanks for what they have, to pray for good luck, blessing, health, safety, prosperity and to pray as a mark of respect and remembrance to their ancestors.

The name (Golden Virtue) represents the noble traits of humanity. It is no wonder that it is in this temple that you will see a colony of beggars lining up the street – expecting sympathy, kindness and generosity from the patrons to provide them with their next meals. When you enter the temple, do not forget to arm yourself with a pack of tissue paper. The ashes produced from the heavy burning of incense and candle is sure to make your eyes teary.

So, if you want to see for yourself a display of ancient Chinese architecture and a blend of cultures and traditions preserved at their best, a trip to the Temple of Golden Virtue is a must item on your travel itinerary to Jakarta!!!

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