The Tree Shrine at Block 177 (also known as Ci En Ge) started as a site of worship established at a banyan tree that survived the redevelopment of Toa Payoh in the 1960s. Today, Ci En Ge enshrines Guan Yin (Buddhist-Taoist Goddess of Mercy) as well as Taoist deities Tian Gong, Datuk Kong and Tua Pek Kong.
During redevelopment, kampongs, temples, village schools and numerous other buildings were cleared, but the tree appeared to resist demolition and gained a reputation as a shen shu (“deity tree” in Mandarin) over the years.
In 2013, a section of the tree including its crown broke off during a storm, causing damage to the shrine. As the tree shrine had religious, social and heritage significance to residents of Toa Payoh and beyond, Toa Payoh Merchants’ Association raised around S$70,000 from its members and public donations to restore the shrine and stabilise the tree.
Explore the Suggested Short Trail Routes:
Of Public Housing & Shared Spaces, 1.5 hours on foot (4.5 km)
Of Faiths & Beliefs, 2 hours with public transport (6 km)
Of Community Institutions & Common Spaces, 0.5 hours on foot (1.5 km)