Zi Yun Yan[1] (Chinese: 紫雲巖; pinyin: Zǐyúnyán; lit. 'purple cloud temple'), alternatively romanized as Tzu Yun Yen,[2] is a temple located in Qingshui District, Taichung, Taiwan. The temple is dedicated to Guanyin.

Zi Yun Yan
LocationQingshui District, Taichung
Geographic coordinates24°16′16″N 120°34′45″E / 24.2710°N 120.5793°E / 24.2710; 120.5793
Direction of façadeWest


According to temple officials, Zi Yun Yan was built in 1662 during Kangxi Emperor's reign in the Qing Dynasty. From tradition, a traveling roofer passed by the current site, where he hung his Guanyin statue on a tree. When he left, he forgot to take the statue with him. Local residents then saw a bright light emitting from the tree, so they built a temple for worship.[3] However, according to a Japanese survey in 1897, the temple was built in 1870.[4]

The 1935 Shinchiku-Taichū earthquake heavily damaged the building, but this was not repaired until 1946. Between 1972 and 1980, the temple underwent a major renovation to coincide with the construction of the Port of Taichung. During this time, the temple was transformed from having only one floor to the current five-story building.[4]


Zi Yun Yan has a total of five stories and multiple altars contain many different deities. On the first floor, the main hall is dedicated to Guanyin in the middle, along with Wenshu and Puxian on the sides. On the second floor, there are halls for Huangdi, Shennong, Mazu, Koxinga, Wenchang Dijun, and others. On the third floor, there is a hall where the temple will place one of sixty Tai Sui statues in its possession. The statue changes every year according to the sexagenary cycle.[4] A pair of three-story bell towers are placed beside the front entrance, and there is a small garden behind the temple. Across the street from the temple, there is an administration building owned by the temple that contains a museum, library, and lodging for pilgrims.[5]


The largest festival of the year is Ghost Festival. Each year, the temple assigns one of the thirty-two villages in Qingshui as host, and the residents are tasked with preparing the offerings. In 2020, Qiaotou Village prepared 1,950 tables of offerings, which were all placed in the temple's plaza.[6]

In the ninth month of the lunar year, a festival is held in the five villages in the Gaomei Region (near Gaomei Wetlands), where Zi Yun Yan sends out a convoy transporting a Guanyin statue named Erma (二媽) to tour the villages. According to legend, a Gaomei resident found a glowing piece of wood, which he donated to Zi Yun Yan. The temple then carved the wood into the Erma statue today.[7][8]

Historically, Zi Yun Yan was a major stop on the annual Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage. However, in 2006, Zi Yan Yan was hosting a table tennis tournament on the day and turned down the procession, and the procession has never returned since.[9][10] Other Mazu pilgrimages, like the Baishatun Mazu Pilgrimage, will occasionally stop at Zi Yun Yan.[11]

Worshippers may purchase a small candle (known as guangmingdeng), in which the temple will put on display for the entire year. In 2009, there were 79,214 candles that were lit.[12]



  1. ^ "Zi Yun Yan". Taichung Travel and Tourism Bureau. 31 March 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  2. ^ Fang, Guor-Cheng; et al. (1 November 2002). "Suspended particulate variations and mass size distributions of incense burning at Tzu Yun Yen temple in Taiwan, Taichung". Science of the Total Environment. 299 (1–3): 79–87. doi:10.1016/S0048-9697(02)00227-9. PMID 12462575.
  3. ^ "沿革史". Tzu Yun Yen (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b c 臺中縣志(續修)住民志. National Central Library (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Taichung County. 2010. pp. 397–398. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  5. ^ "紫雲巖". Taichung Tourism and Travel Bureau (in Chinese (Taiwan)). 30 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  6. ^ 陳淑娥 (8 September 2020). "清水紫雲巖中元普渡 近2000桌供品十分壯觀" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). China Times. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  7. ^ 楊士賢. "台中縣清水鎮高美五里 丙戌年恭迎 觀音佛祖回鑾記實". 臺灣文獻 (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Taiwan Historica. 59 (1): 313–315. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  8. ^ 陳金龍 (17 October 2020). "紫雲巖觀音佛祖回鑾 信眾迎接" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). China Daily News. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  9. ^ 陳奇君 (12 March 2007). "去年進香被拒 大甲媽不停駕紫雲巖" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). TVBS. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  10. ^ 洪瑩發 (24 March 2017). "戰後大甲媽祖進香的路線與時間變化" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Liberty Times. 民俗亂彈. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  11. ^ 余采瀅 (11 July 2020). "白沙屯媽駐駕清水紫雲巖 慈母抱早產兒跪地參拜" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). United Daily News. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  12. ^ 歐素美 (23 December 2009). "不景氣 清水紫雲巖點燈 17年首次負成長" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Liberty Times. Retrieved 19 November 2020.