After being in Shanghai for about 6 days, I still had not visited any Chinese Temples. So, on my last day that was what I did. I visited the Jade Buddha Temple which is in the Western part of Shanghai. This temple was built to house two Jade Buddha statues that had been brought from Burma.
Jade Buddha Temple was build between 1918 and 1928. There aren't many temples in Shanghai, so this one is very touristy. This is the only temple in Shanghai with saffron yellow walls. To visit the temple you have to pay 20 RMB ($4).
When I arrived at this temple it wasn't very busy. I didn't go first thing in the morning, I actually went late afternoon. The halls were very beautiful. The wood on them looked very polished and perfect.
In one of the halls they have a small courtyard with inscribed columns. You can take pictures but you are not allowed past the red line. This hall also has an upstairs where you can look at some of the ancient relics.
This carving is one of the relics that they had upstairs, along with pictures. This camphor wood carving has 100 images of Buddha.
As you can tell, some of these buildings are brand new.A lot of the buildings were demolished and new ones were put up.
The Jade Buddha Temple complex is huge, there are many different halls to look at. When you visit the hall with the Jade Buddha make sure you respect the temple and do not take pictures. Photos are prohibited but not everyone follows the rules, Do not be that person who disrespects cultural traditions like I have seen many people do. In the Jade Buddha Hall there is a jade statue of a reclining Buddha. Don't forget to go upstairs and check out the other statue.
While walking around the back of the temple complex I spotted this pagoda.
The Grand Hall is the most significant building at Jade Buddha Temple as this is where people come to pray. Outside of the hall are stone Foo Dogs. Foo Dogs are Chinese guardian lions; they are said to have powerful mythical protective benefits which is why they are placed outside of important places like temples, palaces and government offices.
There were a lot of worshippers praying in the temple today. This is the grand hall which has golden Buddha statues representing the past, present and future.
In Buddhism the Four Heavenly Kings watch over each cardinal direction of the world. They are also protectors of the world and fight off evil. At Buddhist temples you will always see the Four Kings somewhere, usually of the front of the temple.
In the courtyard between the Grand Hall and some of the smaller halls on the right side is this cute little garden.
I think I spent about 45 minutes walking around the complex. I thought the outside of the temple was beautiful and well as the inside but it looked too manufactured for me. I love the ancient feeling and a lot of it was new. Also, I thought this temple was too underwhelming for me. I could be biased because of the temples I visited in Korea and Japan. I just didn't think this temple was amazing as people raved about on Trip Advisor.
I walked from my hostel to the temple, with took me about an hour (4 km). I was weary I wasn't going the right way so I stopped a bit to make sure I was on the right path. I would suggest walking if you have time to kill or just like to be active. Otherwise here are MRT directions.
-- Take Line 7 (orange line) and alight at Changshou Road Station. Leave though Exit 5, then walk along Xinhui Road and turn right on Jiangning Road. Keep walking stright until you see Anyuan Road, then turn right and you will see the temple.
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