Brought over to the Dajhuang area by early settlers, the image of Mazu has been turned from the goddess protecting the believers crossing the Taiwan Strait to the deity blessing the settlers. The Haotian Temple enshrining Maza has been the most important religious center in Datu Zhong Bou area since the early days.
Reconstructed in 1928 during the Japanese rule period, the Haotian Temple had all its decorative wood carving works handled by famous craftsmen, including master Fa Dan, whose meticulous artworks on the sturdy large wooden architecture and the wood carvings can be clearly seen even today.
In central Taiwan, three Mazu temples are well known for their large-scale pilgrimage, namely the Haotian Temple in Dajhuang, the Zhenlan Temple in Dajia, and the Gongtian Temple in Baishatun. While the Zhenlan Temple and the Gongtian Temple still insist on making the pilgrimage on foot, the Haotian Temple already changed to take the tour by bus or by car. It has changed to hold a pilgrimage every two years since 1990 but it then decided in 2009 to alternate the pilgrimage by going to Beigang in one year and circling around Datu Zhong Bou in the following year. The pilgrimage in either way always attract tens of thousands of believers to participate.
Reasons for nomination:
(1) Historical and cultural value: Founded in 1738 and reconstructed in 1928, the Haotian Temple in Dajhuang has been always the religious center of local folk beliefs in the 53 villages of Datu Zhong Bou. It also witnesses the development of Taichung Harbor in terms of historical and cultural context. Moreover, the stone tablets engraved with government orders or notices from the Qing Dynasty also have very important meanings in the local development history. (2) Demonstration of regional folk art styles: The exquisite beauty of the architecture and the decorative carvings showcases the features of folk art. The wood carvings, stone carvings and potteries made in different periods have been well preserved. (3) Value in the history of architecture or technology: The artworks of famous craftsmen, including Fa Dan and Liu Pei, have been well preserved. Those well-maintained stone carvings, Cochin potteries, wood carvings, and paintings can be very good research references for temple architects.