The other day, I went with John and his family around Tainan County, and although we were aiming for the Lantern festival, the number of people and cars directed us in a different direction. We eventually ended up heading up to one 5 Gods Temple (Wu Wang Temple) near the town of Madou.
Here’s the official Taiwanese description :
Madou Dai Tien Temple is the Wang Yeh Temple that has the biggest group of worshippers. The temple worships Li, Chi, Wu, Chu and Fan Chien Suis; thus, it is also called Wu Wang Temple (Five Gods’ Temple). The temple was built in the 17th century, when a temple ship floated to the shore and local people built a temple called Pao Ning Temple. Due to the earthquake, Pao Ning Temple was moved to another place and renamed Pao An Temple. In 1955, the temple was rebuilt and renamed Madou Dai Tien Temple. Part of the building still maintains traditional Chuan Chou style.
Madou Dai Tien Temple has delicate sculptures and paintings. The ridge of the roof is of Chuan Chou style and the roof is covered with colorful glazed tiles. In the back garden, there is a giant sculpture of a Chinese dragon, 76 meters long, 7 meters high, and it was built in 1979. Inside the dragon, tourists can find the settings of paradise, inferno, and underwater world. The altar of Goddess of Mercy here is in a round building, which is very different from other temples. It is said that the 108-layer Kuang Ming Lamp here is the highest in the world.
It was a lovely little temple, but after you’ve seen temples you kind’o get the feeling that you’ve seen it all. Not with this one. This one had two major attractions that no other temple has.
One, is the Taiwanese Disney-Land of Heaven and Hell.
Heaven was set above ground inside a gorgeous dragon in the back of the temple. Hell was underground. What’s a Taiwanese heaven and hell?
Heaven – Folks drinking tea, having food, singing and dancing, gambling, meeting girls :
Hell – people slaughtered and tortured in the most awful ways. It was a dark dark underground tunnel with sounds of judgement day and screams. Not that good for kids.
The second special thing is the big Buddha they have inside a rounded kind’o building:
There were loads of Taiwanese tourists from all over Taiwan coming to this temple as part of a temple tour, setting up their instruments, and – as far as I could tell – worshiping the 5 Gods :
Gallery has all the photos from that visit. Here are some final details on how to get there :
Summary： It is a famous and sacred religious place around Taiwan. The fragrance is flourished; pilgrims come and go one after another. It is almost as important as Nankunshan Taitienfu. This temple was rebuilt in 1956,then changed its name to Matou Taitienfu. It was built by all the famous craftsmen all over Taiwan and spent 10 years for completion. It was the biggest temple at that time. Behind the temple, there is a five-floor height building in the shape of dragon. It looks superb. Inside, there are three religious facilities–Paradise Palace, Hell Palace, and the Crystal Palace. Taitienfu and Haipuchih prince’s residence are considered as the New Nanying sightseeing spots.
Location： Matou ; TEL： 06-5722133
Traffic Route ： Drive: Exit National Highway No. 1 at Matou Interchange, take Road 176 heading to Matou.
After Matou Interchange, take Hsinsheng N. Rd., when seeing Matou Motor Vehicle and Driver Office, drive 2 minutes, turn right when seeing the archway.