The revered Jing’an Temple is regarded as one of the most significant shrines in the city of Shanghai. First constructed during the time of the Three Empires Period, the place of worship boasts a history of over 780 years. It was initially called the Hudu Chong Yuan shrine; however it was only in the era of the Southern Song Dynasty that the site was moved to its present location. The temple gained great popularity in the early years of the 20th century with a tram station being positioned at the location. In 1972 the shrine was destroyed by a devastating fire and repairs were only implemented in 1984. The complex was again made accessible to the public in 1990.
The temple features three large halls, namely the Mahavira Hall, Three Sage Hall and Hall of Heavenly Kings. The complex is most renowned for its immense statue of Buddha Sakyamuni, which rests in Mahavira Hall. Standing close to 4 metres in height, the Buddha statue is approximately 11,000 kg in weight. The serene and composed expression of the Buddha radiates an ambience of venerability and auspiciousness.
Many splendid folk paintings as well as extraordinary pieces of calligraphy may be seen at the Display Hall for Buddhist Relics at the temple. One of the most renowned masterpieces at the temple is a large bronze bell dating to the Ming Dynasty.
The most exciting occasion at the temple is its traditional fair. This is held on the date of the Buddha’s birthday which falls on the 8th day of the month of Lunar April. On this occasion the residents of nearby villages converge on the site bringing their home grown fruits and vegetables and handmade craft creations. This event extends for three days and steady streams of visitors attend the festival, whilst also engaging in worship at this time.
Jing’an Temple is always an enthralling place to visit with its handsome architecture and attractive points of interest. Visitors will enjoy the tranquil ambience of the shrine with its atmosphere of serene elegance.
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