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Why Yin Mountain (Yinshan) Temple is special ?
This dainty two-hall temple was constructed in 1822 by Hakka immigrants from Dingzhou in Guangdong province. The resident deity, the Dingguang Buddha (the guardian of Dingzhou), is only worshipped by the Hakka and only in this and one other temple in Taiwan.
The temple only has three front doors (fronted by a traditional wooden picket fence). According to Taiwanese custom, temples that worship emperors, queens and gods are allowed to have five doors; those built to worship generals, ministers and others are allowed only three doors.
Owing to a dearth of pilgrims over the years, money has been lacking for reconstruction, and Yinshan Temple has largely preserved its original appearance. The swallowtail roof epitomises southern elegance, while the jiǎnniàn (mosaic-like temple decoration) figures and the interior woodcarvings demonstrate the refined skills of Qing-era craftsmen. On the front wall look for clay sculptures depicting stories of Dingguang quelling the threat of flood dragons and tigers.
What to explore at Yin Mountain (Yinshan) Temple?
This temple (鄞山寺)is a little out of the way, but well worth it. It offers some lovely views of the surrounding mountains, and as it's not easily accessible, you often do not have to share the place with too many others.
The temple itself is quite nice: built since the establishment of the Republic of China it is a lot more modern than other similar buildings in the area. It was built to welcome and temporarily house newcomers from the mainland so it has a very large indoor space that's relatvely clear of obstructions. So if you like to hike, this is a good destination to pick.
How to get to Yin Mountain (Yinshan) Temple?
Nat'l Hwy 1 → Exit at the Taipei Interchange → Prov. Hwy 2B → Xuefu Rd. → Denggong Rd. → Yin Mountain (Yinshan) Temple
THSR Taipei Station (or TRA Taipei Station) → MRT Tamsui station → walk to Zhongzheng E. Rd then turn left at the Xuefu Rd.