Centipede Temple is the nickname given to Then Tze Temple which is located in Jalan Temiang in the northern part of Seremban.
The temple, also known as Then Tze Khoon, sits on a ridge at the top of Wu Gong Hill (Bukit Jung) about 127 metres above sea level. From its vantage point overlooking a green and pleasant countryside, the temple enjoys the breeze from both sides of the hill.
Main features of the temple
The temple is over 140 years old and its beauty and fame attracts visitors from all over the world. Devotees have to climb 264 steps to reach the temple.
There is a three-storey pagoda with a laughing Buddha statue on the top floor. Although Then Sze is a Taoist temple, it does contain Buddhist images as well, in common with many Chinese temples in Malaysia.
The main Then Sze Holy temple is built into the rock face and contains a drum, a Qing Dynasty bell, an ornate door, antique lanterns and ceiling hangings. Other shrines outside are called the Purple Cane Gazebo and the Datuk Altar.
Legend of the centipede
Legend has it that there was once a young man who left home to seek fame and fortune. He achieved his dreams but when he returned home, he did not show any gratitude and filial piety to his mother. God was angry and punished the young man by turning him into a “rock ship” that could never sail. The ship is located at Bukit Jung.
Since then, a centipede was always seen beside the rock and people speculated that this centipede was the reincarnation of the young man’s mother. Today, visitors of the temple hope to find a centipede here as it is believed that it will bring good luck and prosperity.
A giant stone centipede has been erected at the site to mark the spot.
The God of Marriage, Yue Lao
Besides the centipede, another attraction in the temple is the God of Marriage statue, referred to as Yue Lao. Couples seeking a happy marriage can tie a locket with red string attached to the fence alongside the statue to wish that this will bring a long and happy union.
There are a number of statues of deities including the Eight Immortals seated on the rocks amid the trees. There is a lucky tortoise pool and a koi pond overlooked by the statue of Guan Yin.
There is also a pavilion dedicated to Guan Di and a golden toad statue with a coin in its mouth, believed to protect wealth and guard one from bad luck.
There is a refreshments shop and a stall selling religious trinkets.
How to get there?
There is a free car park for temple goers at the corner of Jalan Temiang and Jalan Bukit Temiang 1.
Persatuan Penganut Dewa Then Sze
Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus
(PO Box 198, 70200 Seremban, NSDK)
Tel: 06-767 6873
Fax: 06-761 2296
This article first appeared in malaysia-traveller.com