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Thursday, January 27, 2011

China Calling

Ni hao! (Chinese for Hello)

This is not some post about a Chinese restaurant if that’s what the title made you think. Chinese restaurants are so widespread in Mumbai, you can never be too far from one. And as you know, we do not tell you about the usual stuff that you already know about.

So what do you do on a lazy day when you’re looking to get away from the maddening crowds of the bustling city of Mumbai? Want some peace and quiet? Yes, I’m talking temples today!! So you might have visited the famous Siddhivinayak Temple and the Haji Ali dargah, must-dos on every remotely religious tourist’s itinerary, now how about a visit to the Chinese temple in Mumbai? Did you even know there existed one?
Huan ying (welcome) to Kwan Tai Shek, Mumbai’s only Chinese temple.

Kwan Tai Shek sits huddled up in the quiet lanes of the Mazagaon Docks, far away from the chaos of the city.  This Chinese shrine is more than a 100 years old and buzzes with devotees on the day of the Chinese New Year. At first sight, you might not think that the place bears the slightest resemblance to a temple. It is only when you enter, and find yourself surrounded by the red walls of the tiny temple, do you feel that you’re inside one. Red has been used consciously on the walls as the Chinese consider it auspicious and the temple is devoid of the typical ornamental decorations. Right at the entrance there is a striking picture of the Chinese God, Quan Kung, the mighty and righteous warrior. On the right hand side of the entrance there is a huge drum, which seems to be serving the purpose of a bell, like in the Hindu temples.

The temple, maintained by the donations given by the devotees, is fast losing its funds because the number of devotees has reduced drastically. Where scores of people used to pay homage in the shrine, today the visits are restricted to the Chinese New Year only and this one-of-a-kind shrine is now in danger of becoming a forgotten tradition.

So, K’wan (c’mon) you Mumbo Jojo’s, Tai your shoelaces and Shek your limbs, let us not wait for the Chinese New Year and pay a visit to the Kwan Tai Shek temple today. All you people wanting to pray and ask for forgiveness for your past sins (read: all those epic beer drinking nights you’ve had, tsk tsk) here’s your chance to pray to Quan Kung for salvation. After all, its not everyday that you get to pray in a Chinese temple in India.
That’s all I’ve got for you today. Zai jian (Goodbye)

P.S. Now you’ve also learnt to say hello and goodbye in Chinese!  
Until next time guys, Quirk it up !!
-Master Gayu Panda 


  1. Chinese temple..
    Would surely like to go there...
    sounds interesting...

    Aakanksha Chatrath

  2. this one's the best post so far :D
    Chinese temple ...interesting...seems like you'll worked too hard to find this place :P

    Nice work...keep posting :)

  3. Chinese Temple? Never knew there was one in Mumbai. Nice!

  4. mazagon docks.....hey thats news to me ....will passon to my chinese frnds in moscow.....

  5. Really? This is news and I will want to explore the Mumbai-ya Chinese Temple for sure.

    Quirk, you guys are pulling out some amazing reads. :)Do keep strike a chord!