Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pengerang Temples (Heritage Trail of Pengerang)

When you make your way to Sungai Rengit via Tanjong Pengelih, it is not difficult to observe the many religious landmarks like mosque, surau, temples and shrines. In this trip i was given the opportunity to visit some of this temples and shrines that represent a community that is trying to balance development and yet hold on to its traditional practices and beliefs. This balance is been broken with a multi-billion oil project (RAPID) that will and has changed the landscape of Pengerang forever.

Wan Toh 湾岛
The Chinese community in Pengerang and our guides for this trip told us that location here are "measured" by the cove it belongs to. So if you counted from Tanjung Pengelih, it is 一湾岛 (literally translated as the 1st cove island) and Sungai Rengit would have been known as Si Wan Toh , 四湾岛 (literally means the fourth cove island). It is called an island, because of local traditions and geographically this area was so rural with no road access to here from Kota Tinggi. The community had to take a boat to go to the bigger town or city.
source: Google maps
Temples in Pengerang
It is really beautiful to see this picturesque temples that have an ocean view. My logical guess on why temples are built sea facing is because of the occupation of the community as predominately fisherman and the deities offer them protection from the elements. Below are some of the temples we visited. Unfortunately i am not an expert in these area and can only describe those i remember and not their significance.

大湾顺镇宫 
大湾顺镇宫
護福廟 temple at Kampung Jawa護福廟 temple is said to be over 100 years old and pays homage to both Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) and Tua Pek Kong.
護福廟
notice the dragon head knife in the incense urn 
福德宫 temple ( 二湾福德宮 ) at Kampong Langkah Baik

福德宫
福德宫
新湾顺安宫 at Kampong Teluk Ampang 
Note that this temple used to be facing the sea. It is now facing massive oil bunkers

新湾顺安宫

note location of temple and what it is currently facing
(source: Panoramio)
三灣嶼仔嶺伯公廟 at Tanjung Dato 
This beautiful shrine offers a lovely view of the 3rd cove on one side and the destruction caused by land reclaimation of the RAPID project bunkers on the other. 
source: Panoramio
Note the Datuk Kong, Tua Pek kong and unknown chinese diety in  middle 
Admiral Zheng He is one of the deities here
三湾观音寺 at Kampong Sungai Buntu
观音寺
Fish Dragon seemingly reaching out to a
full moon in the background
四湾凤山宫 at Kampung Sungai Rengit


四湾凤山宫
四湾凤山宫

Related post
Pengerang Battery, posted on December 16, 2013
Day Trip to Pengerang and Sungai Rengit, posted on August 6, 2010.
Trip to Sebana Cove, Pengerang to watch fireflies, posted on April 9, 2007

Getting to Pengerang via boat
From Singapore, the place you can take the boat is at Changi Village Ferry Terminal. Upon reaching Tanjong Pengelih, Johor, there will be many taxi's that will be able to bring you to the major town nearby, (roughly at the cost RM$20 - RM$25 for 1 cab) Sungai Rengit. The ferry will only leave when there are 12 people available to board it. So try to go with a group of friends consisting of 12 pax. At the point of writing, it cost about $11 - $13 per pax for a one way trip.



References
Union of Pengerang Chinese Cemetery Associations. [website]
http://www.panoramio.com/map/#lt=1.347863&ln=104.188145&z=0&k=2&a=1&tab=1&pl=all

1 comment:

Bridget Smart said...

Wow! A really interesting post and excellent photos