No.69, Erpingding, Sanzhi District, New Taipei City 252, Taiwan (ROC)
Located in the Sanzhi District of New Taipei City, Dingshan Shell Temple is adorned with countless shells and corals inside out, and it took a total of two years to build such a spiritual healing place.
Ji Gong (also known as Chan Master Daoji) is venerated here as the primary deity, who was said to be imprisoned in an underwater palace and couldn’t get over the beauty under the sea even after his release. He then appeared in the dream of the current abbot, telling him that he wanted a temple like the majestic underwater palace to be built. And there it is, everything within Dingshan Shell Temple is associated with shells and corals, from statues to pillars and even incense burners. Traditionally, a pair of stone lions are placed at the entrance of each temple to act as the guardians, but here at Dingshan Shell Temple, the lions are replaced by the dragon-headed marine turtles (“鰲”, Ao in Chinese).
A small tunnel made of corals adds extra mystery to this religious site. It is only 1.5 meters high at the curb, and visitors need to show their respect by burning a stick of incense and bending over to go through the whole tunnel. The unique design of Dingshan Shell Temple draws in a significant number of pious worshippers and casual visitors alike, who travel all the way to Sanzhi to be in awe of the architectural wonder of this underwater palace on land.