Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Saturday Walk With Dad At Haw Par Villa Part 1 -Ten Courts Of Hell

on August 6, 2017

Haw Par Villa is a tourist destination that is fully funded by Haw Par brothers.

Haw Par is also the creator of Tiger Balm products that is much used in USA, Australia….around the world actually.

It is a true blue Singaporean made product.

It has been a long time since I visited Haw Par Villa located at Pasir Panjang Road. 

I was knee high then and found the sights frightening as this is a Chinese legendary garden, depicting punishment for evil deeds, learning about Chinese Gods, Buddha and Goddess of Mercy.

However over the years, tourists or visitors to this free park is dwindling as new techno, IT or newer attractions vie for attention.

This has become an old timer’s legendary haunt or for those who appreciate chinese legends and culture.

From the private car park that costs $5 per entry, I saw our National Flags flying…yes our National Day is on 9th August 2017.

Set on a steep incline, our first stop was Ten Courts of Hell.

Guardians of Hades or Hell…

Patron Buddha of Souls

Entrance to Hell…it was dark and dingy…quite like Halloween type effect…

Start of our walk through the courts of hell…it is believed that when one dies, one crosses a bridge…the bridge to beyond.

Before the magistrate of hell, being judged and sentenced!

Some of the tortures for crimes…heinous torture even for petty crimes such as not respecting books!

Above are 2nd to 4th Courts of Hell

Misuse of books…and the punishment is….body sawn into two😱😱😱

Once all crimes are weighed and punishment meted out, the soul then proceeds to drink “erasure of memory soup” and queue to await reincarnation.

Scary…I read the types of crimes and punishment were harsh! Alot harsher than our laws today!

Stay tuned for Part 2…..

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28 responses to “Saturday Walk With Dad At Haw Par Villa Part 1 -Ten Courts Of Hell

  1. calmkate says:

    yikes you couldn’t take children there they would have nightmares .. another part of Singapore that I didn’t know about .. but as all religions seem to believe in hell they can’t all be wrong 😦

  2. i am surprised the gardens still exist. i visited it in the 70s when i was a student in singapore univ. its a real piece of nostalgia this. i dont remember what it looked like then, so long ago i forget, just vaguely remember it has gruesome figures being punished. and a grandmother giving milk to a child. it was depicting some chinese legend. now that seem to have stuck in my memory somehow. haha. and in those days cameras have films which need to be developed, and that is costly, so not many pictures of it. and u say it is still free to enter, but car parking costs $5. i wonder how they fund it, no food to be taken in , so is there a food court in there and a souvenir shop maybe? (with lots of haw par products haha. is tiger balm the only thing they sell? can u build a rich business just on tiger balm?? i dont remember they had food sold there, nor a souvenir shop in the old days. it was never commercial in those olden days. just the name tells you who sponsors it, otherwise no mention of any products or hard sell.
    i think it is meant for parents to bring their children there to show them what will happen if they dont listen to their parents and become naughty as well as a moral lesson to the adults. thanks for the detailed pictures of some of the exhibits. cant say they bring back memories, because i have completely forgotten what they look like.

    • Garfield Hug says:

      Yes…you do remember it well. I saw the grandmother giving milk to an adult child but did not photograph it.
      No food, no souvenir shop (*since closed as no foot traffic) Yes…it seems Tiger Balm products continue to fund it and the philantrophic arm of the children of the founders I guess!

      • there mustbe some kind of story behind that tableau, u mentioned there really is a tableau showing the grandmother was breast feeding an adult woman,presumably her daughter ?. surprised that they kept the tableau. it looks very risque.
        at first i thought i missremembered it and that it was the daughter-in-law breast feeding the grandmother or mother -in-law to keep her alive .the story being some huge drought and famine which cause no food around so this mother sharing her breast milk for the new born infant with her mother-in-law. that would make sense and appeal to the asian idea of filial duty or respect for the elders. perhaps that one did exist and was removed…to be replaced by this one where the roles were reversed…
        .no food being sold is a surprise, at least sell drinks then. why the ban on bringing in food and drink i wonder.

      • Garfield Hug says:

        That was one reason why I did not photograph it. I believe it is showing maternal love for daughter during famine. But scientifically not possible as old lady does not lactate. So I think it is to show maternal love.

      • Garfield Hug says:

        No sale of drinks as I feel the vendor will not survive rent. Anyway there was an ice cream vendor with drinks at bus stop…the kind on motor bike with carriage.

  3. Paula says:

    This is fascinating. Is this the belief of Buddhism then? Do Buddhists believe in physical bodies in the afterlife? (This is me just being curious as I really don’t know, 😊)

    • Garfield Hug says:

      Hi Paula, thank you for reading. This is a mix of Taoism and Buddhism.
      Buddhism as a teaching tells one to do good and be filial. They believe in reincarnation into any form eg a cricket, cat or dog or human. This is why it is often said that one could have been a mother but now reincarnated to be a child of her future children (an example). It is the soul that moves on. But in this narration at Haw Par Villa they used beings to show us how the soul suffers. The body does not go to the after life, just the soul.☺

      • Paula says:

        Ohhh, okay, I was taking the scenes too literal; it’s more symbolism. Thank you for making it clearer to me! This is a place you want to bring your naughty teen to visit to hopefully scare him straight! 😂

      • Garfield Hug says:

        Yes symbolism 😊Haha….I think the poor naughty teen will be mortified😱😱😂

  4. Fascinating…terrifying! 👹 I love learning about new places and their customs and traditions…guess what? I have some tiger balm in the bathroom cabinet! 🐯

  5. Great, reminds me of Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors …

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