Jade Buddha Temple
- Location: No. 170, Anyuan Road, Putuo District, Shanghai, China
- Recommended reason: One of the top 10 attractions in Shanghai; be famous for enshrining and worshipping Jade Buddha
- Opening hours: 8:00-16:30 (except for major holidays)
- Official Website: http://www.yufotemple.com/
Jade Buddha Temple, is located in the busy section of Shanghai city, which is a piece of pure land in the downtown. With its mainstream is Linji School of Zen Buddhism, it's also known as Jade Buddha Zen Temple. Jade Buddha Temple is famous for enshrining Jade Buddha statues and holds about 30 ceremonies every year.
History of Jade Buddha Temple
Jade Buddha Temple was first built in 1882. At that time, a famous monk from Putuo mountain, Hui Gen, brought five jade Buddhist statues from Burma and left two of them in Shanghai for worship. One is sitting and the other is reclining. However, the temple was destroyed in the war in 1918, so people chose a new address and restored Jade Buddha Temple. In 1983, Jade Buddha Temple was listed as a national key Buddhist temple in the Han nationality area.
The Structure of Jade Buddha Temple
Jade Buddha Temple occupies an area of 26.6 hectares and a total construction area of 66,500 square meters. All Buddha statues were made of jades that were donated by the monks of Burma. At present, there are more than 12,000 Buddha statues. Therefore, Jade Buddha Temple becomes the temple with the largest total number of Buddha statues and the biggest single Buddha statues.
With the constructive style of Song Dynasty, the layout of the Jade Buddha Temple is very stringent. According to Chinese traditional ancient architecture style, in general, temples are surrounded by city moat, embankment road and green belt, which forms a natural barrier to isolate from the distractions. With a city moat of ten meters wide, an embankment road of six meters wide and a green belt of four meters wide, Jade Buddha Temple consists of the front yard and the back yard. The front yard is the address of the original Jade Buddha Temple.
The architectures on the central axis are as following: Screen Wall, Heavenly King Hall, Grand Hall and Prajna Hall. Furthermore, on both sides of east and west, there are Guan Yin Hall, Bronze Buddha Statue, Reclining Buddha Hall, Memorial Hall and so on. The back yard is a multifunctional Juequn building. There is a cultural relics room that collected valuable cultural relics of the dynasties of Northern Wei, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing.
Highlights of Jade Buddha Temple
Heavenly King Hall
As an architecture with double-eave saddle roof, Heavenly King Hall covers a construction area of 390.75 square meters. The eaves were decorated by corbel aches, color painting and yellow glaze tiling. There are five rooms on the transverse direction and 3 rooms on the vertical direction. Heavenly King Hall enshrines a Maitreya Buddha statue in the front, a Skanda Bodhisattva in the back and Four Heavenly Kings on the east and west.
Grand Hall is the core architecture of Jade Buddha Temple. With a length of about 30 meters and a width of about 25 meters, Grand Hall covers a construction area of 1,103.14 square meters. As a two-storey palatial building of Song Dynasty style, Grand Hall looks very grand and venerable. Shakyamuni Buddha sits in the center of Jade Buddha Temple. On its both sides are Medicine Buddha and Amitabha Buddha. Three Buddha statues sit on the lotus throne with a look of serenity. With the height of 4 meters, three Buddha statues are covered by golds, which makes the whole palace brilliantly bright and solemn.
Jade Buddha Statue Hall
The sitting Sakyamuni Buddha with the height of 1.95 meters is enshrined in the Jade Buddha Statue Hall, which was carved by a whole piece of jade. Sakyamuni Buddha has a round face and sickle eyebrow with an affable smile, which shows an air of peace.
Reclining Buddha Hall
Covering the area of 256.25 square meters, Reclining Buddha Hall is a double-eave saddle construction. Reclining Buddha Hall enshrines Reclining Sakyamuni Buddha which is well-known as “the treasure of Jade Buddha Temple”. With the height of 3 meters, the length of 7 meters and the weight of 25 tons, Reclining Sakyamuni Buddha statue was carved by a whole piece of natural jade. Reclining Sakyamuni Buddha has a graceful look and an exquisite quality.
Sakyamuni passed away in his eighties, and his Buddha was built as per his appearance at that time. Reclining Sakyamuni Buddha lay on the bed on his side and held his head by the right hand, which looks very serene. On the opposite of the Reclining Sakyamuni Buddha, it's a jade Reclining Buddha which was donated by Singaporean believers.
Guan Yin Hall
Guan Yin Bodhisattva is the most familiar Buddha figure in China. Guan Yin Bodhisattva is regarded as a helpful savior, an affable elder and a noble goddess, which shows the lofty status in Chinese family. It's said that human beings once read the name of Guan Yin in times of affliction and distress, she would appear to save you. Guan Yin Bodhisattva is truly a compassionate deity who helps human beings cross to the other shore.
Best time to visit Jade Buddha Temple
You can visit Jade Buddha Temple all year around. On the first and the fifteenth day of Chinese lunar month, numerous pilgrims visit Jade Buddha Temple to worship Buddha and pray. Jade Buddha Temple opens from 05:30 am to 05:30 pm on these two days. It's said that worshiping the two Buddha statues which the Master Hui Gen brought from Burma is highly efficacious.
How to Get to Jade Buddha Temple
- You can take metro Line 13 there and get off on Jiangning station.
- Or take the public buses No. 19, No.206, No.301 or No.738.
Tips for visiting Jade Buddha Temple
It's better to buy a thurification ticket (entrance ticket) and offerings by yourself instead of asking others to buy for you, or the blessing is for others, not you.
1. Don't tread on the threshold when you enter Jade Buddha Temple. You should step over it.
2. Don't make noise or point at Buddha statues. Just pray silently.