Pay a visit to the ancient Longhua Temple in Shanghai

Temples of Asia | | May 28, 2010 at 2:08 am


Shanghai, in China, encompasses plenty of ancient shrines that are quite fascinating and worth a visit. In fact, the shrines in Shanghai are one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city. If you like to visit such religious places, there is one temple in particular you would adore. The Longhua Temple, which is a Buddhist Temple and is dedicated to Maitreya Buddha, is one of the most visited temples in the city. Tourists whenever come to the city, never fails to pay a visit to this beautiful site.

longhua temple in shanghai

This temple is a well-preserved architectural design of a Song Dynasty monastery, a Buddhist Chan sect. In fact, this temple is the largest, most genuine, and a complete ancient temple structure in Shanghai. The Longhua Temple was initially built during 242 AD, during Three Kingdoms’ Period. As every temple or ancient structures possess some or the other story of its existence, this temple also has a past. According to a legend, the king of the Kingdom of Wu Sun Quan had gained Sharira relics. These were the cremated remains of Buddha. So to house all of the precious relics, he ordered to build 13 pagodas.

longhua temple and pagoda

The Longhua Pagoda (Longhua Ta) which is the part of this temple complex is assumed to be one of the 13 pagodas. It is also believed that once a dragon appeared on the site. During the end of Tang Dynasty, this temple was destroyed in war and was rebuilt during 977 AD by the Northern Song Dynasty. Whatever architectural design you would see today, would be the replica of the original one. However,  modern restoration of this complete temple complex, was done in the year 1954. The temple covers an area of over 20,000 square metres, and the tallest structure at the site is the Longhua Pagoda, which stands at a height of 40.4 metres.

longhua temple

The buildings you can explore and admire in this vicinity are:

  • The Maitreya Hall (Mile Dain) – houses a statue of Maitreya Buddha and his sign as Budai.

Maitreya buddha

  • The Grand Hall of the Great Sage (Daxiong Baodian or Mahavira Hall) – this is the main hall that houses historical Grand HallBuddha’s statue and the statue of two disciple. Here you will find several remarkable statues.
  • The Heavenly King Hall (Tianwang Dian) – it houses statues of Four Heavenly Kings.
  • The Abbot’s Hall (Fangzhang Shi) – It is a place where lectures and formal meetings are conducted.
  • A Bell Tower and a Drum Tower are set off the central axis. The Bell Tower accommodates a copper bell cast, which was built in the year 1382. The length of this Bell is of 2 metres, and possesses a maximum diameter of 1.3 metres, with the weight of 5 tons. On the Eve of New Year, the bell is used in the Evening Bell-Striking Ceremony.
  • Off the main axis, you will also find a shrine to Ksitigarbha – Dizang the King Bodhissatva.
  • There is one Library, which accommodates an assortment of versions of Buddhist sutras and some of the other Buddhist works, with the antiques, ceremonial instruments, and artifacts.
  • You can also explore the artworks in the Longhua Temple, which includes statues of the Maitreya Buddha in the form of Bodhisattva and in the Cloth Bag Monk incarnation. Besides this, 18 arhats statues, 20 Guardians of Buddhist Law, and 500 Louhans statues can be explored.

500 Louhans statues

  • Head to the beautiful tradition garden on the grounds of Longhua Temple and revitalize yourself.
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  1. Fay Lahne says:

    Thats great stuff you’ve got on this blog. Been hunting for reviews on this everywhere. Good work

  2. vareeja says:

    The ‘Maitreya’ Buddha or the friendly Buddha is a spiritual symbol of good health and happiness. The 500 Louhans statues shining golden are a divine treat to eyes. The history of the temples and statues in Shanghai is very interesting. Cool, calm, composed and happy is best described for the statues of Great Sage Buddha.

  3. aden says:

    this is really a fabulous job, this is treally a place fordivine happiness, this is such a mesmerising place,

    this is truly a sign of happiness, the way the buddha statiues are made, its calm and happy life is obvious that its because of this statues of great buddha…

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