There are numerous abandoned structures hidden all over Hong Kong. Most of them are batteries, barracks, or structures built during World War II. But when I learned about an abandoned Hindu temple in Fanling and saw its unique shape, I decided to go explore it immediately!
About the Hindu Temple, Burma Lines
Burma Lines (formerly known as Queen’s Hill Camp) in Fanling was once a British army barracks where Gurkhas (soldiers from Nepal) were stationed. Next to the camp, a temple was built in the 1960s for the Gurkhas and their families as a place of worship.
The Hindu Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the God of Destruction and one of the main deities in Hinduism. It is one of two remaining Gurkha temples in Hong Kong.
When the British army left Hong Kong in 1997, so did the Gurkhas. But the camp, along with the temple, was abandoned in 1996, a year prior.
In January 2010, the temple obtained a Grade 3 historic building status from the Antiquities Advisory Board.
Where is the temple located?
The Hindu Temple of Burma Lines is located in the Queen’s Hill area of Fanling in the New Territories of Hong Kong. The location is near the Lau Shui Heung Reservoir.
The neighbourhood of Queen’s Hill is a recent development that consists of housing estates and shopping arcades for residents. The Hindu Temple is located behind the Shan Lai Court, one of the housing estates developed in 2021.
Unfortunately, the housing development has cut off any direct access to the temple, making it difficult to get to. But if you follow this guide, it should be easy to navigate your way.
How to get to the Hindu Temple in Fanling?
The simplest way to reach the Hindu Temple in Fanling is to first make your way to Shan Lai Court in Queen’s Hill. And the most convenient route is via the Fanling MTR Station on the East Rail Line.
Fanling Town Centre to Shan Lai Court
Once at the station, take the exit to Fanling Town Centre, and walk down to San Wan Road. At the Fanling Town Centre Bus Stop, look for the stop for bus 78A.
Ride the bus to Shan Lai Court on Lung Ma Road. The bus goes to the end of Lung Ma Road, turns around and then stops on the same side as Shan Lai Court.
The Hindu Temple is located behind Shan Lai Court, and the only way to access it is via a short 450-metre walk around it.
Walk around Shan Lai Court to the Temple
Alight the bus and walk back towards the end of Lung Ma Road.
Once at the roundabout at the end of the road, walk down the ramp on the right, along the boundary wall of Shan Lai Court, to the public toilet.
From the ladies’ toilet side, walk around the building till you reach the fence. Locate the opening in the fence.
Cut across the fence and turn right. By now you should have noticed the colourful ribbon markers along the way.
Walk to the end of the fence and then follow the path as it continues left. You might have to crawl through another opening in the fence.
From here, there’s a short uphill climb. Make sure that you walk on the path along the fence behind Shan Lai Court. Keep to the right.
At the top of the hill, there is a steep incline to the left. This path (I believe) heads to the Queen’s Hill Camp. But to reach the temple, go straight and continue walking alongside the fence.
The path narrows and descends the other side, before arriving at the temple on the left.
Exploring the Hindu Temple
According to records, the temple stands in its original form, shape, and colour. There are no deities inside the structure, but there is a small shrine outside the temple.
Apart from the many gods in the shrine, there is an image of Shiva in the centre.
The temple is surrounded by banyan trees and other vegetation that make it feel like one of the temples from Angkor.
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But that feeling is short-lived as you can’t help but notice that this temple shares a fence with a housing estate.
Walk around to the other side of the temple to notice the shaded path that leads to the Queen’s Hill Camp (I think). The temple is separated from the other buildings in the camp which created a sense of spirituality and tranquillity.
The design of the temple
To say that the design of this Gurkha Temple is unique is an understatement!
The Temple resembles a lotus, a flower which represents beauty and holiness in Hinduism.
The structure consists of twelve triangular upright slabs, joined together in a three-dimensional geometric tent shape to form a six-point crown.
The doors which open at all sides of the hexagon allow access from all directions. There are five entrances fitted with double doors. And some doors have pointed windows above them.
The temple is painted pale green externally and orange and blue internally.
The floor inside also has a similar geometric pattern. One of the corners has a raised dais for an altar.
Without any context, an abandoned, sharp-edged, pale green structure in the middle of the woods seems very mystical!
An abandoned Hindu temple in Hong Kong
We hope you’ll get a chance to discover and explore this hidden gem in Hong Kong. If you plan on visiting the temple in the summer, be sure to carry insect and mosquito repellant.
If you enjoyed visiting this abandoned Hindu temple, how about visiting an abandoned Thai treehouse temple?
You could even combine the Hindu Temple with a visit to Lau Shui Heung Reservoir, which is close by.
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