Kek Lok Tong Temple, Perak

A fascinating place not to be missed

The Kek Lok Tong Temple is one of the most visited temples in Perak. You can pore over the various statues of Buddha found among the stalactites and rock formations in this cave temple, which is set among towering limestone outcrops behind Gunung Rapat. You can also take a stroll around the peaceful surroundings.

The cave temple sits on a 12 acre site and was used as early as 1920 as a place of worship. In 1960, the cave became part of an iron mining site operated by the late Mr. Chooi Ah Kee. The mining operation used excavators to enlarge the cave entrance to allow lorry access through the cave to transport loads laden with iron ore. Mr. Chooi started clean up of a small prayer section of the cave, originally named ‘Tien Hou Gong’.

In 1982, ‘Tien Hou Gong’ was handed over by the son of Mr. Chooi to a non-profit charitable organization, Kek Lok Seah and the cave temple was renamed ‘Kek Lok Tong’. The committee of Kek Lok Seah took on development of the cave by enlarging the cave, as well as reclaiming the swampy area near the rear entrance using soil and earth from a nearby hillock. The floor of the cave has been filled and then paved into a flat surface while parts of the rough cave wall are lined with marble tiling. The impressive stalactites and stalagmite formations however were left alone.

Recognizing that the shape of the cave resembles a carp, renovations to develop the cave have been done mindful of this theme. The front entrance of the cave is likened to the head of the dragon carp, its mouth open to the heavens. The stairs leading downwards to the rear cave entrance symbolizes the throat of the carp, the cavernous back entrance the belly of the fish. There are even gill-like limestone formations on both sides of the “head” and a curious evergreen hanging rock formation, covered with moss, at the hind cavern that resembles the gallbladder. And finally, the pronged flight of stairs that descent unto the car park and pond was specifically made to resemble the tail of a carp. Today, the reclaimed area around the rear cave entrance is host to a beautiful garden as well as a large car park for the convenience of visitors. The area is under continuous landscaping projects such as a pond filled with carp and an artificial waterfall.

Kek Lok Tong is a unique and fascinating place not to be missed.


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