Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai, China

We were heading to Ningbo to meet a friend of ours, but unfortunately we couldn’t make it to Ningbo as our taxi driver took us to the wrong train station.  We decided to scope out the area and had lunch close by Shanghai train station at the Coco Curry House in Kerry Everbright City.  We decided to walk and explore the surrounding area, since we had already planned our day in Ningbo and now could no longer do any of the activities there. We decided to make do with the day in Shanghai.  We walked and walked and walked looking for the Jade Buddha Temple, which is located in the busy downtown area of Shanghai.  It’s so hidden it’s very difficult to find if you are touring on your own, as we were. At one point we were walking in the wrong direction 🙁 So, we had to back-track. Our walk was enjoyable, though.

We stopped on our way to the Buddha Jade Temple to do some shopping.  We got some really great bargains locally. The roads we took to the Jade Buddha Temple was so “local,” there were kids playing on the streets, people lighting up essence sticks and filling the air with aromatic scents; firecrackers were popping, it was so local, like a scene out of a movie.  So glad we didn’t do any guided tours while in Shanghai, not that we are big fans of tour groups.

We finally made it to the Jade Buddha Temple.  As we approached the Temple, we were like, “Oh, wow, it’s small.”  But don’t let the outside of the Temple fool you… The temple is just like what we’ve seen in Chinese movies.  As we walked into the Jade Buddha Temple, the aroma of aromatic essence sticks gets you in the temple-visiting mood. We both kneeled, lit up essence sticks and prayed. Monks were passing by, some walking quickly to get where they were going.  The Temple was really quiet: so quiet, you can hear a pin drop.

We took pictures of the magnificent Jade Buddha (alas, too late were we made aware that that was a no-no). The Jade Buddha is encased in a glass sealed case. It was magnificent!  There, the Jade Buddha laid in a reclining position. It’s the biggest white Jade Buddha in the world. On both sides of the Jade Buddha stood 8-foot-high statues of the protectors of Buddhist scriptures.  These two statues of the Protector reminds me of Ravan, the ten-headed demon in the Hindu epic Ramayana who kidnapped the wife of Lord Rama. Of course, the Protectors were without ten heads, but just looking at the Protectors infused this feeling I got looking at them.

As we walked through the Temple, you can’t help but imagine yourself as part of a Chinese movie or living in the imperial ages of Chinese history. There are Buddha statues of all sizes everywhere, and heavily ornate dragons.  I loved the aromatic incense that wafts through the air, and the feeling it brings to your senses; as you leave, the aromatic scents go with you.   We dined at one of the restaurants that is affiliated with the Jade Buddha Temple (of course, all vegetarian food).  We got to dine one table away from some monks. It was exciting to see the Monks in action.  It was a perfect day spent tracking down the world’s biggest Jade Buddha, and a great exploration day in Shanghai.

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