Banka Lungshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan is amazing Buddhist Temple for Buddhist’s World. Banka was renamed “Wanhua” in accordance with the Japanese pronunciation of the term as an adjustment by the administration system during the Japanese rule. Originally, it was the transliteration of “Banka,” which is in the Ketagalan language of the Pingpu tribe, meaning canoe. At the time, the folks of the Pingpu tribe sailed along the Danshui River on canoes to transport sweet potatoes and other farm produce in order to trade with the Han Chinese.
In the past, the Han Chinese migrated to and explored Taiwan by sailing across the Taiwan Strait. The waves were strong and the torrents were great at sea. From time to time, shipwrecks occurred. In addition, Taiwan was an unexplored and nasty place with a dangerous environment. In 1709 (during the reign of Emperor Kangxi), Chen, Lai, Zhang Exploration Company, formed by people from three counties in Quanzhou (namely Jinan, Nanan and Huian) and Tongan, obtained a permit from the government to explore the island. They began to explore the Taipei Basin systematically. Later on, people from the three other counties migrated to Taiwan as well. Along with them, they carried the incense pouch from the temple of their hometown to seek the deities’ blessings. Gradually, a settlement was formed in Banka. In 1738 (the reign of Emperor Qianlong), they requested the Guanyin Bodhisattva of the Lungshan Temple in Jinan, Fujian to divide her spirit then they carried it to Taiwan. Worshippers raised funds to build the Banka Lungshan Temple.
The Banka Lungshan Temple was refurbished in 1815 (the reign of Emperor Jiaqing) after a major earthquake. In 1867 (the reign of Emperor Tongzhi), it was refurbished again after it was damaged by a rainstorm. In 1919 (the reign of Taisho of Japan), the beams and pillars were eaten by termites, so Monk Fuzhi, abbot of the temple, raised funds to rebuild the temple. He took the lead and donated all of his savings, about 7000 dollars, to rebuild it. This helped shape the look of the Lungshan Temple that we have now. In 1945, the temple was damaged during WWII and the Main hall was totally ruined. However, the statue of Guanyin Bodhisattva was still sitting on the lotus seat solemnly. In the past, when there was an air raid, people would seek refuge under the goddess’s lotus seat. Since then, the goddess’ power and grace became known to people. The motifs of the engravings were mainly taken from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Investiture of the Gods.
Banka Lungshan Temple current president is Dr. Steven S. W. Huang, President of Lung Shan temple of Taiwan & Vice President of World Fellowship of Buddhists. He is the Professor of Chinese Cultural University, Taiwan. National Parliament and Congressman of Taiwan for 10 years. Banka Lungshan Temple includes, Guanyin Bodhisattva / Mañjuśrī / Samantabhadra / Skanda / Samghārāma / Eighteen Arhats / Da Kui Xingjun / Wenchang Dijun / Ma Ye / Ziyang Fuzi / Fudezhengshen / Chenghuang Ye / Long Ye / Shuixian Zunwang / Taiyang Xingjun / Tianshang Shengmu / Taiyin Xingjun / Zhusheng Niang Niang / Chitou Furen / Shier Pozhe / Sanguan Dadi / Guan Sheng Di Jun / Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva / Yuelao Shenjun / Huatuo Xianshi.