IT is commonly known as the Green Temple because of the striking ornate green tiles that form the roof of the Chan She Shu Yuen Clan Association building. Located opposite the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, along Petaling Street in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the temple was the original house of the Chinese Chan Associations in 1896. 

The four founding fathers of the clan house were some of Kuala Lumpur's pioneer businessmen Chan Siow Ling (Jln Chan Sow Lin in Kuala Lumpur was named after him), Chan Xin Xi, Chan Chun and Chan Zai Tian. 

The clan house was a welcome refuge for newly-arrived Chinese migrants a century ago. 

Clan members with the same surnames and even from the same ''blood line'' or with ancestral ties dating back centuries ago were offered shelter and directions to the newcomers. 

The building was modelled after the Chan Family Ancestral Temple in Guangzhou with its ancient Canton-style art and South China architecture. Chan Siow Ling had visited the temple and returned with what he saw vivid in his mind. 

Work began in 1987 and was completed nearly a decade later in 1906. 

Numerous documents tell of the blood and sweat that went into constructing the building and of the materials and craftsmen that were brought in from China. 

Two fierce-looking stone lions greet visitors at the entrance while the grey, stone archway above it depicted it as the Chan Clan House of Scholars. Inside is a huge, red panel with gold tree carvings. 

Sparrows' twitters can be heard inside the temple, which is not surprising as the birds had built their nests on the high, wooden timber ceiling tucked between the many decorative figures that adorned the buildings façade. 

While the original clan temple in Guangzhou had six courtyards and nine main halls, the one in Kuala Lumpur version has a single sunlit central courtyard facing an ancestral worship altar and two halls for activities. 

Pink and white bougainvillea, bamboos and fragrant Chinese sui-mui decorate the courtyard, lending some colours to the grey surroundings. 

The De Xing Hall, or ancestral worship hall, is supported by four imposing, red wooden pillars with the honorary statues of the first ancestor Shun Emperor Chung Hua Master (Shun Di) and descendants Chen Hu Man Master and Kai Zhang Ruler Chen Yuan Guang Master are placed there. 

Black and white portraits of some Chan ancestors flank the three statues on the altars with lighted joss sticks planted in the ash-filled urns as offerings. 

There are extensive and elaborate wood, pottery, lime and stone carvings with decorative pieces in cast iron that depict historical figures, legends and sceneries. 

The temple's curved ceramic green glazed tiles are set in a wave-like pattern, making it the most distinctive architectural feature. More glazed and coloured tiles are set beneath the roofs with red and gold lacquered woodworks that depict images of dragons, phoenixes and paradise. Decorative ceramic tiles in intense blue and green bear motifs of auspicious Chinese symbols such as lotuses, peaches and plums. 

Not a single nail was used in the construction of the temple. Its drainage system is also internal, in line with an ancient feng shui concept of allowing ''internal waters to flow within.'' 

There is also a European-styled Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall across an artificial fountain and an ancient Hokkien-styled Goddess of Mercy or Kuan Yin temple that captivates most history and cultural buffs. 

The temple celebrated its 109th anniversary in Septemberand it is open daily from 8am to 5pm or until 10pm when there are special activities. There is no admission fee for visitors but you may drop some money into its charity box.

Opening Hours

8am - 5pm

Admission Fees Free
Website -
Address 172 Jalan Petaling, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Contact 03-2070 6511 
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Key Attractions temple, chinese , ancestral building ,

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