Friday, May 02, 2008

Haw Par Villa - The Ten Courts of Hell

" Haw Par Villa, formerly called Tiger Balm Gardens, was originally constructed in 1937 by "Tiger Balm King" Aw Boon Haw as a grand residence for his younger brother, Aw Boon Par, who helped create their fortune with the anagesic balm. In English, Haw Par Villa translates as Villa of the Tiger and Leopard.

Aw Boon Haw then created an entertainment park to teach and preserve Chinese values. The park's colorful collection of over 1,000 statues and 150 giant tableaux centered around Chinese folklore, legends, history, and Confucian ideology. Morality tales included classic battles between good and evil and tributes to Chinese cultural heroes such as the famous pugilist Wu Song, who tamed a ferocious tiger with his bare hands."
- quote souce taken from Singapore Mirror.

"The park contains over 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese folklore, legends, history, and illustrating various aspects of Confucianism. These include The Laughing Buddha, The Goddess of Mercy, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and most famously The Ten Courts of Hell, a depiction of a gruesome underworld of tortures and torments set inside a 60-meter-long dragon."
- quote from Wikipedia.

There's a small photo gallery with around 10 photos from the Ten Courts of Hell here.

See more pictures of the Ten Courts of Hell on flickr here or check out all the other amazing statues on display at Haw Par Villa. has a detailed description of each of the ten courts of hell along with 10 related illustrations.


El Abuelito said...

Just incredible! Great! I add your blog as a link of mine´s. Congatulations, it´s marvelous!!

Anonymous said...

How funny that I did a search for this a few days ago. I went to the Hong Kong version when I was small in the 80s and it freaked me out. Sadly, I didn't have a camera back then.