The Penang Bat Cave is also called Penang Hill Tua Pek Kong Temple. It lies at the foothill of the old Penang Hill Quarry. There is even a dilapidated mill that used to supply flour and bread to the Air Itam town.
The Temple is almost unknown to most islanders as maybe there are far too many Tua Pek Kong Temples scattered over the island.
But this temple is unique as you get to see many bats living in the bright temple. The caretaker of this temple used to be an old lady who carefully tended and took care of the Tua Pek Kong.
For the past twenty years, it is the best kept secret temple for punters and locals. Way back then, lots of bats stayed and that encouraged the punters even more.
Maybe it is good I explain why bats are symbolic to us. Fu means good fortune in Chinese and the ideogram for Fu is a common symbol worn or displayed for good luck.
A similar sound of Fu means bat, therefore considered lucky. Representations of bats are common and they are said to bring good fortune.
Most bats have left as her son who could not tend to the only Penang Bat Cave, tried to burn the place down. Immediately some locals came to the rescue and look after Bat Cave Temple.
Some locals who had their luck changed collectively renovated the Bat Cave Temple. The locals encourage the few of us who went, to touch the tortoise after prayers. It seems the lucky ones will see four digits numbers.
This particular temple seemed to be quite popular with devotees needing more reassurance. Most Taoist temple are but the evidence here shows that most souls are kept protected by the Tai Say Yea in Penang Bat Cave.
Most devotees of the Bat Cave seek his protection as it seemed he is very "sia"(powerful). I was told when people die, it is his job to decide where their spirits and ghosts should stay.
Tai Say Yea is mostly shown riding a nine headed lion. He hold a vase filled with holy water which is used to deflect any bitterness or wrong doing of people in his left hand. And a sword in his right hand.
The sword is for killing monsters and demons and also for giving justice to human souls. All who are suffering horrible life problems and situations can change their status by calling Tai Say Yea's name over and over again.
Literally translated, Tua Pek Kong means Senior Grand Uncle. The Tua Pek Kong is usually a community protector deity. He presides over their land and gives guidance or blessing to the temple devotees.
Some wishes he is permitted to grant are swearing loyalty to be a gang member. Or sometimes a childless couple seek permission to adopt a baby.
Usually his fame spreads when his devotees were granted wishes. Celebration will then be the main event for the temple.
This Bat Cave Temple is on your right when you walk up using the Aw Boon Hor arch on the right side of Penang Hill Railway Road.
By coming this way, you get to see two oldest Chinese Taoist Temple. The Jade Emperor Temple resides up on the Phoenix Moutain (fuo san).
Have you visited this Bat Cave before? Any experience of striking lottery or number after touching the tortoise or praying to Tai Say Yea? We need some positive and harmonious charge from Tua Pek Kong or Tay Say Yea.
I am very certain all religions practices the goodness. I believe in the goodness of sharing. God bless.