Known as “fó kān” (佛龛) in Chinese these are shrines of worship – essentially a family temple. In ancient times, Fo Kan were dug from rock much like niches or grottos. Later stone, wood and other materials were used. Eventually Fo Kan began taking on architectural characteristics, modeling houses, official buildings and even palaces. This particular one is quite impressive and its owner would likely have had some level of material wealth.