The snake templeThe Temple of the Azure Cloud, ,Penang

temple of the azure cloud

A variety of animals have been worshipped by many cultures all around the world. The snakes are the most common ones in South  East Asia. You will find a few totally dedicated to snakes if you visit south and south east Asia. The  Temple of the Azure Cloud is a beautiful rendering to snakes.
Bayan lepas towards the south east of Penang is the industrial hub. Tucked into this area is a very old, one of a kind Snake Temple. Built in1850 this very old temple is still a safe haven for the pit viper and other snakes. This Buddhist temple was built in the memory of Chor Soo Kong , a Buddhist monk,who was a healer on a land donated by David Brown, as a gesture of gratitude.
Legend says that  snakes mysterious appeared at the site when the temple was constructed and were given shelter.
Entering into the temple you are immediately wafted away by the thick incense smoke and the burning candles. As you move to the altar you notice snake coiled around the reed stands. Various food items are on offering at the altar. The snakes look so hand crafted that initially we found it difficult to believe they were really alive…till one of them moved and we literally jumped out if our skin.
The calm and docile looking snakes are actually pit vipers. The snakes are supposed to be devenomed but still have fangs intact.
Adjacent to the temple is a place where you could get yourself photographed with pythons for a price of RM 30. There are caged pythons and pit viper. We did click a few… more so, the children could feel the leathery exterior and the scales. You could also see the 600pound bell from the Manchurian dynasty of China.
Leading from this room is the snake pool. It an mini orchard if fruit trees… with a huge number of snakes, of various sizes, coiled around all the time.
The temple attracts a huge number of visitors even from Taiwan and Hong Kong as a part of pilgrimage.entry to the temple is free. The entry to the Snake Museum is paid.
Since we went in the evening we couldn’t see the snake museum adjacent to the temple. We plan to do this another time.So please make it a point you be there before 4.30pm.
As we came out of the temple I was glad the snakes have a safe place to be in ,as the area is rapidly developing.

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