The Oldest Temple of God of Wealth in Taiwan
Taoyuan has abundant variations of religious resource and multiple options for religious belief, including six of which that are listed in the “100 Religious Attractions in Taiwan” by Ministry of the Interior:
The texts and figures are extracted from the Taiwanese Religious Map- 100 Religious Attractions in Taiwan: https://www.taiwangods.com/html/landscape/1_001.aspx
5.The Oldest Temple of God of Wealth in Taiwan
A.Major Mascot of the Temple- The Heaven Furnace:The major mascot of Nankan Wufu Temple is the Heaven Furnace (stone furnace) left from the Taoist sacrificial ceremony (a ritual held to thank the Taoist Gods after the extension or refurnish of the temples) in the 3rd year of Daoguang Emperor of Qing Dynasty (1823). On its surface the texts “In the winter of the 3rd year of Daoguang Emperor, all villages of Nankan cooperated to build the Temple, these words are recorded in memories of the ceremony.” are carved, which have a history of 200 years. The design of the Heaven Furnace is different from other conventional furnaces, on top it has a shape of octagon, decorated with carved flora and animals, the bottom is the column with a diameter of 57 cm, a height of 80 cm and a total weight of 120 kg. The local residents believe the good fortune would be delivered by touching the Furnace, so most of the worshippers come to the Temple would touch around the Furnace three times clockwise and make wishes. In the early moments, the Furnace was stored in the warehouse due to the refurnish of the Temple, and was move to the front of the Main Hall for exhibition after being discovered by local seniors.
B.Caves of Messenger Snakes:Nankan Wufu Temple is the only Temple in Taiwan that raises snakes and has the Caves of Messenger Snakes behind the Temple. Legend has it that there were banyan trees growing near the troops camps where the Temple was located, the divine snake resided in the thatch temple with regular life routine, which was viewed as the messenger of Gods by people. Though the divine snake did not hurt anybody, in order not to panic the worshippers, the Caves of Messenger Snakes were built after the reconstruction of the Rear Hall of the Temple. The eggs used for feeding the Messenger Snakes are all donated by the worshippers.
C.Koji Pottery by Su, Yang-sui:Besides the wooden sculptures by Liao, Shih-chen, Shui, Chin and Huang, Gue-li (1903-1995), for the traditional decorations in the traditional architecture of Nankan Wufu Temple, the koji pottery works in the Temple can also attract the eyes of the professionals. The Dragon and Tiger Walls on the right and left sides of the Mina Hall were made by the koji pottery master Su, Yang-sui from Quanzhou in the 14th year of Taisho era of Japanese colonization period (1925). They are not only one of the rare works by Su, Yang-sui preserved in Taiwan, but also one of the invaluable precious of Wufu Temple as well as the artistic treasure of Taiwan.
D.Sacred Sign Pavilion:The Sacred Sign Pavilion of Nankan Wufu Temple was constructed in the 5th year of Tongzhi Emperor of Qing Dynasty (1866) for the use of written words, funeral oration and ritual vessels incineration. It was first established near the archway, then moved to the park near the furnace on the left of the Temple in 2005 in order to avoid car crash. The two layers of the Pavilion are built with red bricks and the edges of each layer are decorated with figures of sacred beasts as dragons and phoenix, on the top the two words “Sacred Sign” are carved, and on the side of the Pavilion a stone tablet is placed to record the history and the donations from the society.
Address:No.1, Wufu Rd., Luzhu Dist., Taoyuan City
Fee:Free of charge
24/7 for the whole year for the guidance
Open Hours: 6:00 A.M. ~ 9:00 P.M.
“Cultural Festival of Military God of Wealth” on March 15 and 16 of the Lunar Calendar