I only had a couple of days in Shanghai but one of the places I wanted to visit was the Jade Buddha Temple.
In 1882 during the reign of the Guangxu Emperor a Buddhist Monk named Huigen brought two Jade Buddhist statues to Shanghai from Burma. A temple was built to house them and was called The Jade Buddha Temple.
In 1911 the temple was destroyed during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty but the statues were saved and a new temple was constructed on the present sit in 1928.
The temples main courtyard and Grand Hall.
The courtyard is usually packed with tourists but people find time to pray and you may see a monk walk by.
Inside the Temple the main exhibits are the Sitting Buddha and the Recumbent Buddha, both of which are carved from white jade.The crystal-clear white jade gives the Buddha’s the beauty of sanctity that makes them more vivid.
The sitting Buddha portrays the Buddha at the moment of his meditation and enlightenment. The recumbent Buddha is lying on the right side with the right hand supporting the head and the left hand placed on the left leg. This shape is called the ‘lucky repose’. The sedate face shows the peaceful mood of Sakyamuni when he left this world.
On our whistle –stop tour guide we were shown numerous statues but I don’t think we saw the original works. The Sitting Buddha is kept in the Jade Buddha tower. The recumbent Buddha that we saw was a 4 metres long and was brought from Singapore by the 10th Abbot to the temple in 1989.
The Jade recumbent Buddha.
Back outside we had time to explore the courtyard and some of the statues.
A fascinating visit.
In the afternoon we strolled along the Bund and Nanjing Lu, reputedly the busiest shopping street in China before having tea and listening to jazz in the Peace Hotel.
The view across the waterfront was very impressive with the many skyscrapers. The most dominant feature being the rocket-like Oriental Pearl TV tower.
However it was at night when the area really became alive.
The waterfront almost rivalled my home city of Liverpool !!!!