Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple, Jepara

Jepara Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple in Welahan village was the first place we visited in that late afternoon after entering area of the peninsula city on the north coast of Java Island. It was nearly six o'clock, just less than twenty minutes, and the sun had gone down to the horizon. In any case we had already standing in front of the beautiful Chinese temple.

Actually the one I put in the target list was Hian Thian Siang Tee Temple, which is actually located quite near from Jepara Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple. It's just probably because we spent a long day on the road already, and the thought of eating and pillows were dancing, so that the mind was not that critical. Besides, I thought only one temple in Jepara.

Because I did no double-check to the name of the visisted temple, consequently the Hian Thian Siang Tee Temple was overlooked and was not visited, and even until leaving Jepara I still believed that the temple visit was done. I just realized it when started writing. Anyway, the Jepara Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple is also an old one, and beautiful.

hok tek ceng sin temple jepara
A View of the main building of Jepara Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple with gable roof, a typical of Chinese type of building. At the top roof there were statues of two beautiful dragons statue fighting over the sun, with four Chinese letters underneath. Dragon is the symbol of justice, strength and become keepers of goods and shrines.

A pair of Ciok-say sit in vigilance at Jepara Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple. Ciok say (Lion Kilin) is normally composed of 18 different species of animals. Horse body with snake and fish scales, turtle tail, feet of bird-tiger-buffalo-deer, crab eyes, bunny ears, tiger fangs, lion mouth and beard. Ciok-say male hold a ball and the female hold a cub.

hok tek ceng sin temple jepara
A three-legged Hiolo Thian (God Hiolo) to worship the God of Heaven at the foyer Jepara Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple. On the limbs there are reliefs of giant faces, so does at the handles on the left and right side. Relief on the hiolo's body also display giant faces and animals that resemble crabs and mantises. There's no dragon ornament on this hiolo.

But there's a dragon statue with its long body coiled a pillar with its eyes shone on, face to face with a tiger statue. Dragon also symbolizes safety, and protector towards the east which symbolizing spring or the beginning of a new life. While the tiger symbolizes courage and protector from evil spirits, and protector towards the west (autumn).

Large round air inlets and source of lights on the wall decorated with very beautiful dragon ornaments. On each pillar at the temple foyer of Jepara Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple there are paintings depicting the 12 zodiac animals in Chinese tradition, the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

hok tek ceng sin temple jepara
Hok Tek Ceng Sin statues were flanked by a pair of golden dragon on the main altar of Jepara Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple. The atmosphere in the room was already quite dark due to insufficient lighting, and I did not carry tripod so it was rather difficult to take picture. Only by leaning to a pillar I could shoot a fairly good picture of the statue.

Literal meaning of Hok Tek Ceng Sin is the "god of the earth on the prosperity and services". There is a difference with the God of Earth Tho Ti Kong (Tu Di Gong). Hok Tek Ceng Sin is the figure of a god who became a patron of the community and is regarded as the god of the earth as a whole, and its altar is made parallel to the altar of other gods.

Tidak ada catatan pasti tentang kapan Kelenteng Hok Tek Ceng Sin Jepara ini berdiri, namun ada yang menyebut bersamaan dengan berdirinya Masjid Agung Demak yaitu tahun 1466 M. Bangunan aslinya berada di samping kanan gapura kelenteng yang bertulis "Gerbang Damai Sejahtera", karenanya kelenteng ini juga dikenal sebagai Kelenteng Gerbang Damai Sejahtera.

While Tho Ti Kong is the god of earth who controls local land, for example the land on which the temple was founded. This group of gods are at the lowest position in ranks of Heaven and thye are closest to humans, so their altars are parallel to the floor. Altar to worship Tho Ti Kong is usually found at the tomb of the Chinese people.

There is no record as to when the Hok Tek Ceng Sin temple was established, but some say that it was built in conjunction with the establishment of the Great Mosque of Demak in the year 1466 AD. The original building is located at the right side of the temple gate that read "Gate of Peace Prosperity", that's why the temple is also known as Gate of Peace Prosperity Temple.

Jepara Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple

Village of Welahan, Welahan Sub-District, Jepara Regency. Jepara Tourist Map . Tourist Destination in Jepara . Hotel in Jepara
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