Alishan Forest Recreation Area, Alishan Township, Chiayi County 605, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Located within Alishan National Scenic Area, Shouzhen Temple that enshrines the Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven (玄天上帝) as its main deity is the highest temple in Taiwan in terms of elevation. In 1927, the Japanese colonial government started to hire plainsmen to log the forests – it was when local aborigines still practiced the custom of human sacrifice. Worrying that their lives might be at stake, the lumberjacks hoped to build up a temple to serve as a place of protection and safety for the righteous, but the Japanese government refused the request. After Taiwan’s restoration, these workers continued to cut down trees for wood, but strange supernatural events never ceased to take place. Finally in 1948, Shouzhen Temple was established and became the largest temple in Alishan.
Every April, this highest-altitude temple in Taiwan will be visited by a significant number of moths who roost on the statue of the Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven. Call it a coincidence or whatever, but for the pious worshippers here, such a mysterious wonder is a blessing to celebrate the deity’s birthday, which falls on the third month of the lunar calendar.