Yinshan Temple

sights / Religious

Yinshan Temple information

Danshui , Taiwan
Address
Street cnr Denggong & Xuefu Rds
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Lonely Planet review

This dainty two-hall temple was constructed in 1822 by Hakka immigrants from Dingzhou in Guangdong province. The resident deity, the Dingguang Buddha (the guardian of Dingzhou), is only worshipped by the Hakka and only in this and one other temple in Taiwan.

The temple only has three front doors (fronted by a traditional wooden picket fence). According to Taiwanese custom, temples that worship emperors, queens and gods are allowed to have five doors; those built to worship generals, ministers and others are allowed only three doors.

Owing to a dearth of pilgrims over the years, money has been lacking for reconstruction, and Yinshan Temple has largely preserved its original appearance. The swallowtail roof epitomises southern elegance, while the jiǎnniàn (mosaic-like temple decoration) figures and the interior woodcarvings demonstrate the refined skills of Qing-era craftsmen. On the front wall look for clay sculptures depicting stories of Dingguang quelling the threat of flood dragons and tigers.