Jing’an temple is a nationally protected site of China. It is the most famous temple in Shanghai and shelters the biggest Buddha statue made of pure Jade in Mainland China. It is located at the West Nanjing Road (Nanjing Xi Lu in Mandarin).
Panoramic view of Jing’an Temple
History of Jing’an Temple
The temple has a history of more than 780 years. First built in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), it was named Hudu Chongyuan Temple. In the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), it was moved to the present location from the bank of Wusong River and became a busy and crowded place until 1908; the first tramcar was built as Jing’an Temple for its starting station. Later, a famous calligrapher renamed it as Jing’an Temple in 1945 and is still named as such today. Unfortunately, the temple was burnt down to ruins in 1972. However, the reconstruction began after 1984, so the Hall of Heavenly Kings and the Three-Sage Hall were repaired in succession. In 1990, the whole temple was finally opened to the public. (Information Source: www.travelchinaguide.com)
This temple consists of three halls namely, The Mahavira Hall, the Hall of Heavenly Kings and the ThreeSage Hall. Jing’an temple is famous for a portrait of the Sakyamuni. The Sakyamuni portrait is located in the Mahavira hall. This is the biggest pure jade portrait of Sakyamuni in Mainland China. Sakyamuni is considered to be the first Buddha of Buddhism. The Sakyamuni statue is made out of Mayanmar white jade, which stands 3.87 meters high and weighs 11 tons.
This temple is surrounded by high class buildings and the contrast of modern architecture with these ancient relics is really something to experience. This temple shelters many monks and has various forms of Buddhist statues. Jing’an Temple is a good place to escape the hustle and bustle of crowds in downtown Shanghai.
There is a large tripod shrine in a court area where people burn sticks or paper and try to throw coins for good luck. The shrine is tall, so they try to throw the coins into its windows or onto it. Kids seem to like this game. We observed two kids enjoyed doing this a lot and were tirelessly running around the temple complex to collect the coins and throw it to the shrine.
Tripod shrine in court area
The statue of Guanyin Bodhisattva is located in the Jing’an Temple. This is the Buddhist Goddess of mercy is made out of thousand year old cam phov wood and it is 2.6 meters in diameter, 6.2 meters tall and 5 tons in weight. Apart from this we have portraits of other Gods from Chinese history in the Jing’an Temple complex.
The statue of Guanyin Bodhisattva
Each year there is a traditional fair held at Jing’an Temple. The day falls on the 8th day of Lunar April celebrating Buddha’s Birthday. On the date, all village residents attend the event and sell their hand-made crafts as well as home produced veggies and fruits. The temple event lasts three days and many people nearly also participate in the event and worship throughout the fair.
Jing’an Temple is located in the downtown Shanghai. It lies on the West Nanjing Road, which is famous for shopping, eateries, branded showrooms, posh malls and modern buildings. West Nanjing road is as popular and happening as the East Nanjing road. You can enjoy the Jing’an Temple and combine it with experiencing the lifestyle of West Nanjing road and enjoy the shopping and eating in these various eateries and restaurants.
Admission Fee: RMB50
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 5:00 pm
How to reach Jing’an Temple: Take Subway Line 2 or Subway Line 7 and get off at Jing’an Temple Station. Leave from Exit 1 to get to the temple directly.