Beipu's Citian Temple served as a center of faith for members of the Jin Guang Fu kenhao (land development association). Since the mid-17th century, a large number of Han Chinese settlers began migrating to Taiwan. As the Han Chinese population grew, settlers gradually advanced towards the inland hills and mountains, including the Beipu area of Hsinchu. This area was traditionally inhabited by the Taokas and Atayal peoples, groups of the plains and highland indigenous peoples of Taiwan, respectively. In the 14th year of Daoguang Emperor's reign in the Qing era (1834 CE), Tamsui Sub-Prefect Li Sih-ye (? - 1839 CE) sought to pacify the indigenous population by having the Cantonese Chiang Hsiu-luan (1783-1846 CE), then chief of Jiucyonglin Village, and Hokkien Chou Pang-cheng (1781-1847 CE) from Zhuqian City (today's Hsinchu) form the Jin Guang Fu kenhao and develop land in the southeast mountainous area. Beipu's Citian Temple was built to protect settlers and put people's minds at ease after establishing a center for land development with effective fortifications. The temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva Guanyin (Avalokiteśvara) and Matzu—deities worshiped in both Hokkien and Cantonese culture—and combines both Quanzhou and Hakka architectural elements. Citian Temple has always been a center of folk religion in the Beipu area, standing witness not only to the development of Hsinchu's mountainous regions, but also to the collaboration between Hokkien and Cantonese people and respect for religious diversity.
Double-sided bucket building wall in Citian Temple
The roof of Citian Temple adopts three ridges
The plaque of "Fuyin Qunsheng" named by Jiang Ronghua (birth and death year unknown) was first cultivated in the main hall in the 8th year of Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1882)
Guanyin and Mazu's "Double Mercy and Sacrifice"
The two groups of twenty-four filial piety stone pillars in the temple are smooth and charming. They are also only seen in temples in Taiwan.
Flying fairy made of wood in the temple
The stone carvings on the left and right sides of the eaves corridor and dragon pillars are all made of rising dragons, composite pillar foundations, and eighteen arhats attached to the dragon pillars, which is a rare practice in Taiwan.
Main Hall of Citian Temple