Jing an Temple
This popular Buddhist temple right in the city center is one of Shanghai’s most active temples, and the main location in the city for ancestor worship. The name translates as “Temple of Peace and Tranquility.”
Originally built during the Three Kingdoms period (220 – 280), the temple was moved to this location during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279). Closed during the Cultural Revolution, and completely burnt down in 1972, it was only finally reopened in 1990.
Three main halls are built in the classic Southern style with yellow walls, tiled windows and dark painted wood facades.
The halls contain several statues of Sakyamuni Buddha (the “traditional” Buddha and founder of the religion). The most revered is in the Mahavira hall with the largest jade image of Buddha in China, standing almost 4 meters high.
One of the halls is also used for exhibitions Take some time to look at the paintings and calligraphy here; they are from the collection known as “The eight eccentric painters” – painters active in Yangzhou in the later part of the Qing Dynasty who began to introduce strong personal characteristics to the classic painting styles of the time.
A scholar led tour of this temple and other Buddhist temples offers a great introduction to one of China's main religions.