Monday, March 9, 2015

Sites : Sak Dato Broga Temple (石拿督庙)

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Broga, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia - March 2015
Nestled at the bottom of a hillock at a road leading from Broga is a temple, it looks like a small temple but is actually more. It is only when one enters the temple that it's uniqueness is opened up like an oyster to offer it's beauty to be seen.
I have been up to Broga a few times and had always admired the temple from outside. It was only during a recent cycling loop around Broga that I visited it; we had parked at the car-park outside. At the end of the ride, I decide that since we were there already, I might as well pop in for a quick look while my cycling buddies were packing up their bicycles into their cars. That "popping in" turned out to be a longer visit as I found out that the temple was actually larger than it looks and my buddies had to wait a little longer for me!

View of the from leading from Broga town as seen from foot of the temple.
A two kilometre road, heading east, leads from Broga town to the temple. At the far end of this road are many carparks and nearer still are stalls that sells drinks and fruits. In the early morning the stalls are closed, but at that time many are already here; this place is a favourite for many to come and exercise: strollers, joggers,hikers and cyclists (like us). (For the hikers, the nearby Broga Hill is a favourite spot to climb as it offers a very good scenery of the valley below).

Sitting at the foot of a hillock, overlooking all these, is the modest-looking temple. From the car park the temple does not look very big or impressive. The entrance is a small arch on the left that leads to a first tier with a statue of Kwan Yin; then up to a second platform where the temple sits.

Kwan Yin's statue stands within a small Koi pond with a rock backdrop. To the right of this is a structure that looks like a miniature pagoda.

A closer look at the miniature pagoda.

Within the temple is a small altar to the Sak Dato, the altar does not boasts of opulence in fine trimmings or decorations; devotees just come here to humbly pray.

From the small platform outside, it maintains the simple, humble look.

Even from this height (about 20 feet above road level) one can appreciate the location of the temple; beyond lies the green hills of Broga.

To the left is a bright red small pavilion for burning offerings. Steps behind this leads further up; it is from here onwards that the temple begins to unfold and offer more.

Up another few steps and there is a nice tea pavilion for the older ones to rest on their climb up. Along the route upwards there are a few of these pavilions; how thoughtful of the temple.

Another fifteen feet up is another temple. This one is slightly larger than the first one, and also with a slightly larger altar. But it is still a simple temple, with two dragon columns holding up its ceiling.

 From this level, the view of the Broga valley is even better, and we have not even reached the top. This temple is interesting, as one climbs up it opens up layer by layer; each layer becoming nicer pulling us to climb up and see more.
And the unique thing is that from street level, one cannot easily notice all these additional buildings and structures; from there only the humble entrance temple is clearly visible.

A few steps up on the left is this grotto shrine, this temple has many places for devotees to pray.

To the right.... More steps! Another level to unfold!
Above seems to be a garden park of sorts.

Statue of a green pineapple and above it is another tea house for resting.
Near the top is an undulating area, it is well landscaped and many large statues of local fruits dot corners of it. This is understandable as in the surrounding area are many farms and orchards. Agriculture is a mainstay in this region.

The "King of Fruits", the durian, sits enticingly at a corner.

A fruit basket laid out as an offering to Kwan Yin.

In another corner, an old Chinese man fishes from a pond.

At a top edge of a slope, Sun Wukong the Monkey King perches on a rock, peering far into the valley below. He looks for demons to fend them away and keep the valley safe.

Almost at the top, a Longgui (dragon-turtle) hauls a cartful of treasures, a sign of prosperity and long life for the residents here.

At the top is a small plateau with a garden, the entrance is an arch guarded by twin dragons.

Here is a nice small park where many have made the climb up just to enjoy the shade, sitting down and taking in the cool air.

But many others come up to cross this suspension bridge to a hill on the other side and climb further a little further up there ...

... where a giant statue of the Sun Wukong stands tall above the trees, looking over and guarding the valley below.
I am tempted to walk over, but my friends must be impatiently waiting for me below, so I quickly made my way down...

... I could not help but make a short pause to view the valley below.

Reaching the bottom I breathed in a sigh of relief, my temple visit must be blessed after all; my friends have parked their Brompton bicycles and are patiently waiting... Phew.....
Like a sage coming down from the mountain, I will tell them of the wonders I saw above. But that will be later, over bowls of delicious ice-kacang at the Broga town market.

Sak Dato Broga Temple
Broga, Negeri Sembeilan, Malaysia.
GPS: 2.932053, 101.924151

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Malaysia - Street Art of Ipoh, Perak : May 2014 
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