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Jade Buddha Temple


Located in the northwest part of Shanghai and tucked away amidst a jumble of charming turn of the century two-storey cottages and small glass office buildings, the Jade Buddha Temple is spiritual oasis in the midst of a booming city.

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The temple was built in the 8th year of Qing Emperor Guangxu's reign (1882 AD) in Jiangwan area. In 1918, the heavily renovated temple was built with Song dynasty architecture to house two legendary jade Buddhas. Its mustard yellow outer walls are shrouded with bamboo acaffolding and lined with queues of tourists and worshippers alike. Devotees carry clusters of burning juss sticks and bow in front of the Hall of Heavenly Kings, a giant cavern that holds humbling statues of various golden and bearded arhats that tower over those who enter. Wander past the Grand Hall towards the back of the compound and follow the signs to the Abbott Room, where the Jade Buddhas resides.

The two Buddhas in the Abbot room were once part of magnificent five piece jade collection brought to China from Myanmar by a Chinese monk. The larger of the two Buddhas is encrusted in jewels, it was hand-chiseled and polished from white jade and stands and stand 1.9m tall. On each side of this statue is a famous collection Buddhists texts made wood block prints in 1890. Measuring 90cm, the other Buddha is smaller, but is just as impressive with light glinting off its elegant jade body as it reclines languidly. A gnarled sandalwood trunk with carved Chinese characters and displays of late-Qing handicrafts add to the charm of this building. On the first floor ouside the Abbot room are several gift shops selling everything from paper prints to traditional Chinese paintings to sandalwood fans and Buddha figurines carved from pure jade.


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