In 1882, a Buddhist monk named Huigen brought to Shanghai two magnificent buddhas from Burma by sea. The two buddhas, one reclining and one sitting upright, were carved wholly from solid blocks of jade. A temple was built to house these buddhas. During the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty, the temple was destroyed, but the buddhas were saved. In 1928, a new temple was built for them on the same site and was named the Jade Buddha Temple.
Inside the Temple
Jade Buddha Temple is a Song-dynasty-style architecture with precise complex and harmonious structure. The temple consists of several halls featuring various relics, statues, paintings, scriptures, artefacts, and other items of religious interest. In the central axis are located the Hall of Heavenly Kings, Daxiong Grand Hall, Devajara Hall, Mahavira Hall, and Jade Buddha Tower (the Sitting Buddha is placed here). These are flanked to the left and right by the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Hall, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Hall, Manjusri Bodhisattva Hall, Recumbent Buddha Hall, Copper Buddha Hall, and other Halls. Besides this there is also a dining room, library, and courtyard.
Sitting Buddha; Recumbent Buddha
The two priceless jade statues hold great religious, cultural, and artistic significance and value relics.
The Sitting Buddha (190 cm high, 3 tons) is carved out of pale green jade and encrusted with agate and emerald. It is displayed on a pedestal and is a depiction of Buddha in the moment of his meditation and enlightenment.
The Recumbent Buddha (96 cm long), carved out of white jade, is shown reclining in the ‘lucky repose’, and depicts the serenity of Sakyamuni Buddha in the moment when his spirit left the world. The Recumbent Buddha is displayed in a redwood and glass cabinet. With this smaller recumbent buddha there is larger Reclining Buddha (four m long) carved from marble and brought from Singapore in 1989.
Opening Hours: 08:00-16:30 from Tuesday to Sunday
Entrance Fee: around 20 Yuan for the temple, and an additional 10 Yuan for going into the Jade Buddha Tower to see the Sitting Buddha
Recommended Visiting Time: about 1 – 2 hours
Vegetarian Restaurant Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
3 Things to Do at Jade Buddha Temple
- Admire the gleaming Jade Buddha and other precious cultural relics and artworks.
- See and hear monks conduct their ceremonies in the temple.
- Enjoy a meal in the vegetarian restaurant. The restaurant is a part of the temple but can be accessed separately. It serves a variety of reasonably priced vegetarian food including double mushroom noodles, Arhat noodles, lion head noodles, and even vegetarian duck and vegetarian chicken.
Tips for Jade Buddha Temple
- Jade Buddha Temple is a stopover point for tour buses, so be prepared for throngs of tourists pouring in on short visits. The temple is also busy during the Lunar New Year (usually in February), when Chinese Buddhists come here to pray.
- Taking photographs in the Jade Buddha Tower is not allowed, but in other rooms photography is permissible.
- There is no particular dress code for this temple.
Recommended Hotels Near Jade Buddha Temple
- Hotel Indigo Shanghai Jing’An (0.8 Km Away)
- InterContinental Shanghai Jing’ An (0.9 Km Away)
- Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central (1.0 Km Away)
- Amara Signature Shanghai (1.1 Km Away)
- JI Hotel Shanghai Railway Station West Tianmu Road (0.7 Km Away)
Getting to Jade Buddha Temple
Take Metro Line 13 and get off at Jiangning Road Station. Leave from exit 4 and then walk southward for about five minutes to the temple.
1. Take bus 19, 206, 316, 328 or 738 and get off at Jiangninglu Anyuanlu Station.
2. Take City Sightseeing Bus and get off at the main entrance of the temple.