A pretty special place
20.11.2007 - 20.11.2007 18 °C
We headed over to Yùfó sì, or the Jade Buddha Temple as it's called in English, famous for its two white jade Buddha statues. They were brought to China from Burma (Myanmar) by monks to Zhejiang Province in 1882 with the idea to build a temple dedicated to house them. They later came to Shanghai in 1918 when they had finished constructing the temple. The statue of a reclining Buddha which lies on a redwood bed, represents Buddha's entry to nirvana and is very rare, however, the other showing Buddha seated encrusted with jewels is probably more famous. The temple is one of the city's most visited tourist attractions.
The temple is still active and is situated in the northwest of the city, less than a mile from downtown Shanghai. It attracts large numbers of visitors, both local Chinese and overseas tourists and is actually one of very few Buddhist temples in Shanghai.
Though the original temple was destroyed in 1928, the giant Buddha, along with a smaller, recumbent version of the statue were both rescued, and now rest at the rebuilt temple.
The Jade Buddha Temple also include an impressive collection of rare cultural relics that are housed there. We decided to save them for next time and focused on just enjoying the experience of the temple. The giant jade Buddha is the real draw here, the other artifacts are supposed to be worth a visit by themselves, but I don't think that anyone comes just for the porcelain artworks and ancient paintings that are also stored here. There are also over 7000 Dazang sutras kept in the Jade Buddha Tower, unfortunately its not supposed to be such an impressive sight as it sounds. What we really enjoyed was to just see people worship, hear the monks sing and experience how natural the religious life seemed in this tourist attraction.
Another factor that adds to the spiritual element at the Jade Buddha Temple is the classical architecture style in which the temple was designed, and especially unique in the middle of the Shanghai of today.
There is also a souvenir shop with the reclining Buddha just outside and a vegetarian restaurant (which we of course had to try).
Its well worth a visit and of course we will go to Yùfó sì with anyone who comes to visit us. ;-)
Fredrik and Sabrina