龍山寺 Lungshan Temple (also known as Longshan Temple) is a popular Chinese temple located in the Wanhua District of Taipei, Taiwan. The temple was founded in the 18th century and is known for its ornate architecture and cultural significance. It is a major tourist attraction in Taipei and is considered a symbol of the city’s cultural and religious heritage.
Lungshan Temple is dedicated to Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (or Guanyin in Chinese). It also houses over 100 deities and serves a mixture of Buddhist, Taoist and Confucianist faiths. It is known for its exquisite wood & stone carvings, elaborate altars, and colourful murals. The temple is open to the public and is free to enter.
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How to get to Lungshan Temple
Take the MRT (blue line) and alight at Longshan Temple Station (BL10). From Exit 1, cut through Bangka Park (艋舺公園) and you’ll see the temple. It’s just a 3-minute walk away.
The main entrance to the front hall of the temple is only opened during special occasions or festivals. On normal days, we will have to enter via the right hand side (from our perspective while facing the entrance) which is known as the Dragon Gate and exit from the left hand side i.e. Tiger Gate.
Upon stepping into the front hall, we saw many devotees praying, making offerings, chanting scriptures and so on. Some were drawing divination lots.
If you walk towards the rear hall, you’ll also see people praying to deities like Wenchang Dijun (文昌帝君 a.k.a. God of Literature) to help excel in studies and Yue Lao (月下老人 a.k.a. God of Marriage & Love) to help find true love or to have a blissful and everlasting marriage.
We are not religious so we don’t really know how to go about doing the praying, etc. If you’re interested to know more, you can refer to this step-by-step guide on the Lungshan Temple’s website.
Drawing divination lots
One of the main things that any visitor to Lungshan Temple should do is to draw a divination lot, which is somewhat similar to fortune telling. There are instructions in English to explain the lot drawing process.
Hubby drew a number 50 lot, which happened to be a very good one!
There are booklets by the lot drawers that further explain the lots in greater details. I would suggest you take a photo of this and use Google Translate to translate the text into English if you can’t read Chinese because this Chinese booklet gives way more details than the English version one.
The English version booklet only provides the direct translation of the poem on the divination lot and doesn’t explain what it actually means.
Lot 50: “The boat is filled with treasure, roams around the world & has favourable winds on its sails.” Doesn’t make much sense to us, lol.
Lungshan Temple is definitely worth a visit. It may be known as the ‘meeting place of the gods’ but it is also a gathering place for the locals. Besides admiring the beautiful architecture of the temple, it is also interesting to know more about the local religious beliefs and practices. The temple is located near the Huaxi Street Night Market and Guangzhou Street Night Market so if you come visit in the late afternoon or evening, you can drop by both night markets for some delicious street food. 🙂