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Jade Buddha Temple & Longhua Temple

Jade Buddha in Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai

Jade Buddha Temple

The Jade Buddha Temple, the most famous Buddhist temple in Shanghai, is located in the western part of the city. In 1882, a monk named Huigen left two of five jade Buddha statues brought from Burma in Shanghai and built a temple there to keep them. In 1918, the old temple was burned down and a new one was built on the present site and named the Jade Buddha Temple.

Still inhabited by monks, the temple consists of three main halls and two courtyards.

The first hall is Tianwang Dian Hall where statues of the four celestial kings and Maitreya are enshrined. It was said that the Maitreya is, in fact, the Budai Monk. In 916, before his death, he had told people that he was the reincarnation of the future Buddha Maitreya. Later, peopl called him Buddha Maitreya and began to worship him in temples.

Hall of Mahavira in Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai, China 

The second hall is Daxiong Baodian. Three large gilded Buddha statues: the Buddhas of the past (Bhaisajya-guru), present (Sakyamuni) and future (Maitreya) are kept in the hall. The one in the center is Sakyamuni, east of it is Bhaisajya-guru and west is Maitreya. Eighteen gilded Luohan statues stand around them.

After visiting the Daxiong Baodian, people reach the Jade Buddha Tower. A jade Buddha, which is 1.9m tall and 1.34m wide, stands on the second floor. Inlaid with diamonds and agates, the jade Buddha is sitting leisurely at the moment of his enlightenment. And in a hall on the western part of the temple grounds lies a 96-cm-long recumbent jade Buddha. Both of these two Buddha statues were carved out of a single piece of white jade. Besides all this, many Buddhist sculptures and classics are housed in the temple.

Admission Fee: CNY 30
Opening Hours: 8:30 to 17:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: One hour
Route: 19, 14, 36, 54, 63, 68, 76, 105, 106, 112, 113, 138, 206, 223, 506, 516, 550, 563, 738, 768, 830, 837, 866, 922

 Longhua Temple & Longhua Pagoda

Longhua Temple, first built in 242 A.D during the Three Kingdoms Period, is the biggest and oldest temple in Shanghai. The temple was destroyed and rebuilt many times. The present temple was built during the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty. Splendidly constructed, the temple, till today, still keeps the original feature of Buddhist 'chan' sect of the Song Dynasty. Buddhist scripture, gold seals and Buddhist statues of Tang, Ming and Qing Dynasty are kept in the temple.

Standing opposite the Longhua temple, the pagoda, according to historic documents, was built as early as the 3rd century. The present pagoda, which is octagonal and seven-storied with 40.64 meters in height, is the restoration of 977. Built of wood and bricks, this pagoda, with upturned eaves and hanging bells in the corners of the eaves, is the only pagoda in Shanghai city.

Even today, the temple, visited by large numbers of monks and laymen each day, is flourishing. At night on every New Years Eve the ceremony of 'Striking the Longhua Evening Bell' is conducted here and is well known at home and abroad. Each time, large numbers of people, Chinese as well as foreign, come to listen to the ring of the temple bell.

Admission Fee: CNY 10
Opening Hours: 07:10 to 16:30
Recommended Time for a Visit: One and a half hours