Jade Buddha Temple

Shanghai, China

Went to Shanghai and never paid a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple? Well, you are missing out on a good experience. And here’s why; the name might be striking, and it really doesn’t matter whether you are Buddhist or not, this temple houses a lot of statues of Buddha and other deities, but the star attraction are the two old but still sparkling Buddha statues that were carved with pure white jade (one is carved calmly meditating in a sitting position while the other is portrayed in a lying position). Each figure of Buddha shows a distinctive pose which symbolizes a hidden meaning or purpose to teach people. Most common ones among them being peace, wisdom, wealth and passion.

The whole temple has a very peaceful atmosphere. There are several halls on the Temple grounds, wherein there are many ancient art works displayed on walls, Buddhist scriptures and many statues are exhibited too. It might be tempting to share these moments with others as they are so amazing but beware that photography is not allowed inside (though you can get away with a click or two). It is simply exquisite on festive occasions.

Monks are kind and welcoming towards the visiting crowd there. They try their best to make your visit worthwhile. Nothing like a good guide when you’re a hopeless ‘Dora the Explorer’ in a new place.
On Chinese New Year, the temple was being decorated by the youth and a group of monks were having their delicate Chinese dishes for lunch in a private restaurant. As we were passing by, they invited us over to grab a bite and later on they guided us very well with the historical significance of different places and artifacts in the temple. These kinds of lovely gestures give out a really favorable impression of Buddhists.

Best times of the year to visit are in spring and in autumn. Plan a trip in the morning time as it is more pleasant, weather wise. Avoid visiting during golden week period due to crowds. The opening time is from 08:00 to 16:30 and 08:00 to 17:30 on the first and the fifteenth day every month according to the lunar calendar. The entry ticket is RMB 20 per person and you need to spare at least one hour for the tour. Keep in mind that tourists have to pay RMB 10 extra if they want to see the Jade Buddha statues of the 4 heavenly kings inside the Jade Buddha Chamber, but no additional fee is required for other attractions. Donations, however, are accepted that help keep the temple well maintained.

For vegans, there is a simple but reasonably good vegetarian restaurant serving inexpensive variety of delicious noodle dishes. Try the double mushroom noodles for just RMB 5 a bowl.

At 170 An Yuan Road, take line 13 of metro and get off at Jiangxi road station. Leave at the exit numbered 4 and then walk southward for about five minutes to reach the temple.

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