Shanghai’s renowned Jade Buddha Temple is a much venerated Buddhist shrine. Its legacy stretches back to the 19th century when a shrine was constructed to house two valuable Jade Buddha figures brought over from Burma by a monk by the name of Huigen. This temple was demolished amidst the tumult of the revolution, which ousted the Qing rulers. Luckily the statues were retained intact and a new shrine to house them was constructed in the same location in the year 1928. This was the origin of the Jade Buddha Temple.
The temple features a number of intriguing chambers and hallways including the Mahavira Hall, the Hall of the Heavenly King, Jade Buddha Hall, Kwan-Yin Hall, Bronze Buddha Hall, and so on. As you might expect, pride of place at this temple goes to the two revered jade Buddha figures. The Sitting Buddha, located in the Jade Buddha Hall, stands 190 cm tall, and is adorned with emeralds and agate donated by devotees. This figure depicts the Buddha’s mode of meditation and the resultant achievement of supreme enlightenment. Meanwhile, the Reclining Buddha is located in a separate chamber. This statue, which measures 96 cm long, shows the Buddha resting on his right side, the left hand resting on his side and the right supporting the head. This is the position of Sakyamuni Buddha when he departed from this world, passing into Nirvana. Nearby, you will see another reclining Buddha measuring 4 m in length, which was brought over from Singapore by a temple abbot.
The Jade Buddha Temple is a delightful place to relax and unwind irrespective of whether one is a Buddhist or a follower of another faith. It is a splendid location to obtain a respite from the hustle and bustle of work, shopping or urban sightseeing. This place of worship with its tranquil peaceful atmosphere and splendid architecture should not be overlooked when exploring the resplendent Chinese city of Shanghai. The temple is always a pleasant place to visit.
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Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+