Chinese Temple and Museum
Did you know that at one time the Chinese population outnumbered the European population in the Top End? Many were recruited by the Government of the day and by 1878 the Chinese were the largest non-Aboriginal group of the time.
Chinese people have played an important role in the history of the Northern Territory and a Chinese Temple has been located on this site since 1887.
The first Temple on this site was built in 1887, the date on the original ceremonial bell. It was damaged by cyclones in 1897 and 1937 and partly damaged during bombing raids and looted by Australian soldiers during World War II. The stone lions, handcrafted in China, originally belonged to the Brocks Creek Temple, near Pine Creek. After the Brocks Creek Temple was destroyed by Australian soldiers, the lions were re-located to Darwin.
In 1974, the Woods Street Temple was completely destroyed by Cyclone Tracy and our present Temple was re-opened on the original site in 1977.
The religion practiced at the Temple is a combination of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. A translation of the Chinese symbols over the Temple entrance is:
"The Power of Almighty God reaches far and near."
In the grounds of the Temple is the sacred Bodhi tree, believed to be a direct descendant of the tree under which Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment.
The Museum is located in the Temple grounds, with photos and displays documenting Chinese work and achievements since they first arrived as indentured labourers in 1874.
Only a five minute walk from Smith St Mall, open daily from March to November ( except public holidays).
Telephone: +61 8 8941 0898
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