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Photographer's Note

Kek Lok Tong / Kek Lok Cave / 极乐洞 is a well known worshipping and tourism location.

Kek Lok Tong, 极乐洞 (Pinyin = Ji Le Dong) mean that it is a happy cave, 极 = extreme, 乐 = happy, 洞 = cave / hole.

As a worshipping location, there have three God statues of Taoism at the main entrance, and some Buddhist statues at another entrance.

Workshop Photo : Interior, Stalactites



Geography

The Kek Lok Tong (Chinese 极乐洞; Cavern of Utmost Happiness) is a cave temple that lies on the other side of the same range of limestone hills as Sam Poh Tong. It is accessible through the Gunung Rapat housing area. It has a cleaner, quieter and more cooling environment and has the best scenic cave view.
Limestone hills extend 20 km north of Ipoh and also 20 km to the south. There are many caves in these hills; cave temples are built in some of these caves.(Source : Wikipedia - Ipoh, Kek Lok Tong)

See some other temples in caves in my old photos :-

1) Sam Poh Tong

2) Ling Sen Tong

3) Nan Tian Tong


History

The cave temple sits on a 12 acre site and was used as early as 1920 as a place of worship. In 1960, the cave became part of an iron mining site operated by the late Mr. Chooi Ah Kee. The mining operation used excavators to enlarge the cave entrance to allow lorry access through the cave to transport loads laden with iron ore. Mr. Chooi started clean up of a small prayer section of the cave, originally named 'Tien Hou Gong'.

In 1982, 'Tien Hou Gong' was handed over by the son of Mr. Chooi to a non-profit charitable organization, Kek Look Seah and the cave temple was renamed 'Kek Look Tong'. The committee of Kek Look Seah took on development of the cave by enlarging the cave, as well as reclaiming the swampy area near the rear entrance using soil and earth from a nearby hillock. The floor of the cave has been filled and then paved into a flat surface while parts of the rough cave wall are lined with marble tiling. The impressive stalactites and stalagmite formations however were left alone.

Recognizing that the shape of the cave resembles a carp, renovations to develop the cave have been done mindful of this theme. The front entrance of the cave is likened to the head of the dragon carp, its mouth open to the heavens. The stairs leading downwards to the rear cave entrance symbolizes the throat of the carp, the cavernous back entrance the belly of the fish. There are even gill-like limestone formations on both sides of the "head" and a curious evergreen hanging rock formation, covered with moss, at the hind cavern that resembles the gallbladder. And finally, the pronged flight of stairs that descent unto the car park and pond was specifically made to resemble the tail of a carp. Today, the reclaimed area around the rear cave entrance is host to a beautiful garden as well as a large car park for the convenience of visitors. The area is under continuous landscaping projects such as a pond filled with carp and an artificial waterfall.

Kek Look Tong is a unique and fascinating place not to be missed.

Source : Kek Look Tong History

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Additional Photos by Ally Theanlyn (shevchenko) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2575 W: 64 N: 4774] (20560)
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