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Travel Guide > Asia > Taiwan > Sights & Attractions

Yushan Holy Glory Temple

  
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Set amid pretty foliage-covered hills, Yushan Holy Glory Temple (玉山寶光寺) is a beautiful and strikingly large religious complex. Despite the shrine's name, there's no connection between it and Taiwan's highest mountain, Mount Jade (玉山, Yushan in Mandarin). Rather, Yushan is the name of the village in which it's located, and which before the inauguration of the temple was ignored by tourists.

Like local folk temples, it's dominated by shades of red, yellow and gold. What makes this place especially intriguing, however, is that it's the headquarters of one of Taiwan's three main I-Kuan Tao sects. Construction of Holy Glory Temple got underway in 1976, a decade before the formal ban on the religion was lifted by the ROC government, but some time after the authorities had ceased repressing the sect.

The ceiling of the main hall features paintings of the sages and prophets who have influenced the religion. Most are of Chinese origin, such as Confucius and King Wen of Zhou (周文王), putative author of the I Ching. If you're a Christian or a Muslim, you may be startled by the visual depictions of Jesus Christ and Muhammad; I-Kuan Tao regards all religions as valid equals. Around the main altar, the Buddha, Guan Gong and Lu Dong-bin (呂洞賓) - one of the Eight Immortals - are represented by large effigies.

Elsewhere in the complex there's a vegetarian dining hall (payment is by donation; arrive early as the food goes quickly), plus a small store that sells religious publications and trinkets.

Directions

From downtown Tainan, take Highway 20 inland just past the little town of Beiliao. The temple is clearly signposted as km45 on the right of the road.

Type: Monument/Building
Costs: free
Location: Taiwan
Street address: 18, Yushanli, Nanhua District, Tainan City
Nearest public transport: Holy Glory Temple bus stop
Opening hours: Daily 5am-7pm
Telephone: +88665772229







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