Guandu Temple 關渡宮 (sometimes spelled as Kuantu Temple) is one of the oldest temples in Taipei as well as in Northern Taiwan. It's a partly Buddhist and partly Taoist temple, mainly worshiping Mazu, the goddess of the sea. Legend has it, that worshiping at the current site dates back to 1661, but at that time there wasn't a real temple. In 1712 a Buddhist monk from Fujian came to Taiwan and brought with him a golden statue of Mazu in a mission to convert people. In the next years more and more Han Chinese settled to this area and a need for a proper temple arose. In 1715 the simple place of worship was transformed into a temple made of bricks and a tiled roof: the Guandu Temple was born. However at that time it was known as Lingshan Temple 靈山廟 (Lingshan meaning "Spiritual mountain"). The temple was then repaired and renovated several times during the Qing Dynasty and eventually renamed Guandu Temple (after the area of the same name). After World War II the temple was thoroughly renovated again (all information taken from the temple's brochure).
Our visit to Guandu Temple
My wife and I visited the temple yesterday, it was the last day of the annual Lunar New Year vacation. Unsurprisingly, it was very crowded, a lot of people probably visited to collect the new year's blessings. The smell of incense was very strong and we had to work ourselves through the crowds to find some lovely spots to enjoy. Nevertheless, it was a very unique experience and I would do it again anytime.
Guandu Old Street 關渡老街
Our journey began with a walk from the Guandu MRT Station. There were minibuses to the temple, but we decided to walk. At that time we had no idea, that there is an old street in Guandu, but when I saw some old houses along the way, I had a strong suspicion that it must be one. Sadly, most of the street lost its original charm, a lot of houses are in decay or in ruin, it's pretty sad. There street is also mostly residential, there are no shops and food stalls.
The Buddha Cave 古佛洞
The temple's upper floors
The temple garden
The Guandu Temple is definitely one of the most impressive temples in Taipei, perhaps in all of Taiwan. If you visit the city for the first time, I highly recommend you to explore this area as well. Guandu is not only offering beautiful views and an amazing temple, you can also visit the Guandu Nature Park, which is famous for bird watching.
View Taipei Map by MKL in a larger map
Map and useful information
▷ RELATED INFORMATION
• Pinyin: Guāndù gōng
• Related website: Homepage
• My useful tips: Transportation in Taipei
▷ RELATED POSTS
• Confucius Temple
• Longshan Temple
Always double check my information before use, blogging is just my free time activity; I can't be held liable for any loss, damage or discomfort occurred as a result of using my travel guides | Romanization in Taiwan
▷ BLOG NAVIGATION: Taiwan>> Taipei Travel Page>> Beitou District>> Guandu Temple