One of the buddhist temples to recommend in a one day visit in Shanghai. Though the most famous one is the Buddha Jade Temple, that is visited by all touristic groups, this one is more authentic and one of the oldest in Shanghai.
Some might say it was first built around the third century BC in the Three Kingdoms era, but actually there are very few written proofs that certify it. Most probably one of the parts of the nowadays complex was from twelve century AD, though it has beenn reconstructed since time, wars and different historic circumstances destroyed it several times.
Longhua Pagoda, located outside of the temple, is 40 m tall, made of wood and has an octagonal shape. Some years ago it was allowed to go up, but since end of the eighties has been closed to help preserve better its ca. 1000 years of history.
We recommend this temple because even when it is not so popular among tourists, it is indeed very common to see locals here praying, doing offerings to the gods and even quite often it is an outer space used for celebrations and different leisure activities. For example, these smiling ladies were singing in choir and singing the day we went. Additionally it is a lamasery of ca. 90 monks and 30 apprentice, so if we go very early in the morning, it is very probable that we find them praying. Actually it is a temple full of life where you can feel and see the authenticity and spontaneity of their devoted buddhists.
Would you like to see how they sing and dance?
- If you have some time and you like old relics, in the East part of the temple there is a small garden with some funeral pillars with ancient inscriptions and three mythical animals statues.
- You can try the vegetarian restaurant open to the public from 11am to 2pm, that’s behind the latest temple hall.
- Longhua Pagoda inspired a pagoda reproduction in the movie Empire of the Sun by Spielberg, can you see it?