Jump to main content

Zhinan Temple

Taipei CityHistoric Sites
Read the following for how to use your keyboard to browse the album:
  • Up: Show photo menu
  • Down: Hide photo menu
  • Left: Last photo
  • Right: Next photo
  • ESC: Leave album
  • Zhinan Temple
Today’s weather
26 °C
Probability of precipitation
Air Quality Index (AQI)
88 Moderate

Zhinan Temple in the Wenshan District is one of the main religious institutions in Zhinan.

The name "Zhinan Temple" includes two important meanings: 1. that the god, Lu Enzhu(Lu Dongbin) resides at the Southern ("nan") temple in the Heavenly Court; and 2. that in order to determine who on Earth needs help, he uses a compass ("zhinan").

In the same area, there is also Fude Temple, dedicated to the land god. In front of the temple, there is Qixing (Seven Stars) Pond, which was designed according to fengshui principles and also serves as a receptacle for believers to place their monetary contributions. Taking the stone steps, it is possible to reach Zhinan Temple Corridor, as well as see the entire Muzha tea farm landscape.

This temple is known to foreigners as "the Temple of a Thousand Steps." This is no exaggeration—there are actually around 1,200 stone steps up to the temple—and there is a saying, "live an extra 20 seconds for each step you climb." If this is true, you can add more than six hours to your life by climbing all of the steps.

The main deity in this temple is Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals of Chinese legends. He is a well-loved deity, despite a reputation for somewhat randy behavior. He is said to return frequently to the mortal world to bring salvation to the faithful.

Zhinan Temple sits on Monkey Mountain and, in addition to the steps, is accessible by a paved road. But the stone steps are worth a trip in themselves; they are flanked by rows of stone posts topped by stone lanterns that were donated by devotees during the period of Japanese occupation (1895-1945).  Rest platforms are available every 100 steps or so, with the entire path extending for about 1,200 steps. After passing through the mountain gate to the worship hall, you can see a pair of dragon pillars with their heads raised upwards. After entering the hall, if you look carefully on the ground surrounded by red railings, you will find the "Dragon King," a coiled dragon with a pearl in his mouth. After going around the Drum Tower, you will arrive at the three-story Fuyou Temple. On the first floor, a guest room provides overnight accommodations. This was formerly called the "dream room." In those days, if believers prayed and received permission from Lu Dongbin to live in the dream room, they had an opportunity to receive guidance overnight in a dream.

Following the path on the left behind the Xiangong Temple, you'll reach the Mahavira Hall. The main hall on the 2nd and 3rd floors is dedicated to the Sakyamuni Buddha. The Buddha statue in the temple was donated by past Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Praphas Charusathien, and honors a national treasure of Thailand, the Sakyamuni Golden Buddha. This is the most special Buddha statue in the temple. From here, following the pleasantly-sloped path behind the Xiangong Temple, you'll arrive at the Lingxiao Palace. Heavenly soldiers and generals guard the eaves, and the hall is home to many statues dedicated to deities and the Buddha. The ambiance is solemn. The left walkway of the Treasure Palace offers beautiful views. A campground is available, as well as a mountain road that leads to a Confucius Temple between the other two temples. The white walls of the Confucius Temple contain relief sculpture images of Confucius and his disciples traveling around the world. They are accompanied by two unicorns, symbolizing the spirit of Confucius, and are as precious as a phoenix.

These Chinese-style temples are both splendid and solemn. The main buildings include the Lingxiao Palace, the Daxiong Palace, and the Dacheng Palace, as well as the meditation room, the quiet room, and the dream room. The Mahavira Hall is located behind the main hall, and is dedicated to Thailand's Sakyamuni Golden Buddha. It's a golden-domed building, and houses several Buddha statues sitting cross-legged. It's the most majestic building in the Zhinan Temple. The Dacheng Hall is at the rear of the temple. The hall is dedicated to Confucius, Mencius, Zengzi and the Sanguan Dadi (three mythical imperial Chinese officials). The temple is a religious center, integrating Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. The deities of Zhinan Temple are thought to be efficacious, and the number of believers has increased. Incense is burned in abundance, especially during religious festivals. Good-hearted men and women from around the world come here to offer incense, and the crowds are often large. The Zhinan Temple has also become a popular tourist site.

The area is also home to the Fude Temple, which is dedicated to the local Land God. One can reach it by ascending to stone steps that lead to the Zhinan Temple. From here, one has a beautiful view of the Muzha Sightseeing Tea Garden. As cars are not allowed to enter the temple grounds, shuttle buses are available at the entrance for those not wishing or not able to ascend the steps.

One last item of note. It is said that immortal Lu Dongbin couldn't pursue the only woman among the Eight Immortals, He Xiangu. As a result, he can be jealous of couples who are together. Therefore, most couples dare not go to the Zhinan Temple together, out of concern that their relationship may end.

Travel Information

(Traffic information is subject to change. Please check with the transportation station before departure.)

Nat'l Fwy 3 → Exit at the Muzha Interchange → Sec. 2 to 1, Xinguang Rd. → Sec. 2 to 3, Zhinan Rd. → Ln. 157, Sec 3, Zhinan Rd.

  1. Take THSR or TRA to Taipei Station → Transfer Taipei MRT to Wangfang Community Station → Transfer Taipei City Bus Small 10 to Zhinan Temple
  2. Take THSR or TRA to Taipei Station → Transfer Taipei MRT to Taipei Zoo Station → Transfer Maokong Gondola to Zhinan Temple Station
Bus stops
Travel Information

Area Information

Last update time: Oct 27, 2023
What's fun nearby

Last update time:

Regional traffic info
Scenic Spot(s)
More Spots
More Events
More Accommodation
Travel Information
You might be interested in...