– SEPTEMBER 29, 2015
Jing’an Temple (literally “Temple of Peace and Tranquility”) is a Buddhist temple on the West Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China. The temple sits on top of the Jing’an Temple Station, a major hub of the Shanghai Metro network where Line 2 and Line 7 intersect.
The temple was first built in 247 AD in the Wu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms period of ancient China. Originally located beside the Suzhou Creek, it was relocated to its current site in 1216 during the Song Dynasty. The current temple was rebuilt in the Qing Dynasty but, during the Cultural Revolution, the temple was converted into a plastic factory. In 1983, it was returned to its original purpose and renovated with the Jing’An Pagoda completed in 2010.
The Jade Buddha Temple is a Buddhist temple in Shanghai. As with many modern Chinese Buddhist temples, the current temple draws from both the Pure Land and Chan traditions of Mahayana Buddhism. It was founded in 1882 with two jade Buddha statues imported to Shanghai from Burma by sea. These were a sitting Buddha (1.95 meters tall, 3 tonnes), and a smaller reclining Buddha representing the Buddha’s death. The temple now also contains a much larger reclining Buddha made of marble, donated from Singapore, and visitors may easily mistake this larger sculpture for the original, smaller piece.
During the reign of the Guangxu Emperor (r. 1875–1908) in the Qing dynasty, Huigen, a Buddhist monk went on a pilgrimage to Tibet then to Burma. Whilst in Burma, Chen Jun-Pu, an overseas Chinese resident in Burma, donated five jade Buddha statues to Huigen, who transported two of them back to Jiang-wan, Shanghai. Here, Huigen had a temple built with donated funds, and died shortly thereafter. This temple was occupied during the 1911 uprising, and the statues were moved.
A Buddhist monk by the name of Kechen later had a new temple built on land donated by Sheng Xuanhuai, a senior official in the Qing imperial court. Sheng’s father and uncle were pious Buddhists. They built houses with thatched roofs at Yizhou Pond by the Zhuanghuabang River in the northeast of Shanghai. This can be accounted as the predecessor of the monastery. The construction took ten years, and lasted from 1918-1928. Kechen also invited Reverend Dixian from Mount Tiantai to come and lecture on Buddhism in a grand ceremony.
Next we will head to the southern mountains to hike thousands of stairs.
For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.